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Full text of "Note books on farming"

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GROWING PLANTS WITHOUT 
SOIL. By D. R. Matlin. Il- 
lustrated. 137 pp. New York: 
Chemical Publishing Company. 
12. 

Several American books and at 
least one Engrlish volume have al- 
ready appeared on the subject 
of chemiculture, but "Growing 
Plants Without Soil," though it is 
not by a national or international 
authority on the subject, is by 
far the most practical and useful 
to reach this desk to date. 

Professor Matlin has been 
working on soilless plant growth 

for some years with his students 
in the Belmont High School of 
Los Angeles. He has created his 
own chemical formulas, which 
have been revised as his experi- 
ments ripened into successful ex- 
perience, and because of the work 
he and his students have actually 
done he gives the reader confi- 
dence in the practical working 
possibilities of this new and rev- 
olutionary method of growing 
plants. 

The book is of interest to the 
amateur and professional gar- 

^dener alike and to the plant chem- 
ist as well. There are helpful 
suggestions for those interested 
in the production of new or re- 
vised formulas and for testing 

'Chemical substances for the pres- 
ence of ions of common metals. 
The chapter on the advantages 

fOf chemiculture is remarkable in 
its revelations of future possibili- 
ties: the cultivation of arid lands 
and deserts; the growing of fresh 
vegetables in remote places; the 
ease of culture and harvesting 
and the cheapness of the neces- 

t sary chemicals as compared to 
fertilizers for ordinary garden- 
grown crops. 

Every modern gardener, 
whether or not he be a soilless 
plant growth enthusiast, will 
want to read this book with care. 











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food plants of the American in 
dians. In fact, the book contains 
a great deal of Indian lore, much 
of it derived from the writings of 
Lewis and Clark, Catlin. School- 
craft and Gilmore. 

The descriptions of tipsin (the 
Indian turnip of the West), the 
ground-plum, or buffalo pea; the 
sunflower and the buffalo berry 
bring the reader a breath of the 
Great Plains. Professor Medsger 
tells how he cooked and ate 
skunk cabbage and Indian turnip 
( Jack-in- the-pulpit) ! 

His joy in nature poetry is con- 
tagious. He quotes from many 
authors, including Riley. Whittier, 
Lowell. Emerson and Robert 
Frost, but his favorite nature 
poet seems to be Riley 



grouped as fruits, nuts, seeds and 
seed-pods, salad plants and pot- 
herbs, roots and tubers, beverage 
and flavoring plants and sugars 
and gums. Among the wild fruits 
one finds such alluring names as 
persimmons, pawpaws. black 
haws, creeping snowberries and 
wild strawberries. Pecans and 
other hickory nuts, walnuts, ha- 
zelnuts and chestnuts carry us 
back to our boyhood days 

He tells the story of wild rice, 
of American lotus, or water chin- 
quapin, and mesquite, or honey- 
pod, all of which were important 



Raising California Grapes 
In Cooler Eastern Climate 

Fine Vines From the Coast Can be Made to Produce 

In Other Sections of the Country if Three 

Essentials Are Carefully Followed 



3Ugh1 

rE OF PLASSEY 

fii. Mervyn Davies 



By JAMES F. 

Probably the most frequent 
_ thought that occurs to the amateur 

MSncern." 431 pages. every- 

iisplay 
e wish 
ens of 
n gar- 
)f red 
Mala- 

he founder of the Empire of Brit-anina 

I of new information about Clive, if ^^l 

, . . . I that 

accurate, sympathetic, yet critic jj^^. 

; and foresight changed the histofe has 

e the 
raise 

I EVERY AMERICAN H^w 

CA'S COOK BOOr 

iifera 

slew York Herald Tribune Homerican 

• ^^^^® 
>05 pages, the standing authorityrries, 

e. Washable binding. the 

is in 
ecay. 
itive- 
phyl- 
and 

sult- 

Druri- 
Ing. Choice of varieties is impor- 
tant in helping to overcome this 
list of weaknesses. 

In California, where the early 
Franciscan Friars Introduced these 
tender European grapes, they have 
thrived in the long warm seasons. 
They will not stand temperatures i 
under 10 degrees above zero. The 
first point In their culture In the 
East, then, is proper location with 
the idea of protection from the cold. 
The vinifera pr'^iers a gravelly 
loam with good drainage, though 
any type soil will do. A sunny loca- 
tion and a southern exposure will 



A. BRANNAN 

aid In putting sugar and flavor into 
the ripening fruit in the cool Fall 
season. 



Outwitting Winter 



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Winter weather Is outwitted by 
placing the grape vines flat on the 
ground and covering them with 4 
to 6 inches of soil before a freeze 
occurs. Soil covering is to be pre- 
ferred to straw or leaves. After a 
good snowfall and freezing weather 
have arrived, a bank of snow above 
the soil-covered vine will aid in 
keeping a constant temperature 
and prevent freezing and thawing. 
When the danger of extremely cold 
weather is past, the vines are un- 
covered in the Spring and tied to 
stakes. The annual covering oper- 
ation can be greatly facilitated at 
planting time by placing the vine 
in the ground at an angle, instead 
of the usual upright position, and 
by proper pruning. 

Viniferas give better yield if they 
are pruned hard, the mature vines 
being left with no more than forty 
buds on its various arms. These 
buds are, of course, left on the 
well-matured wood of the current 
season's growth, as with any other 
grape. Vines are kept low and 
close to the ground so that cover- 
age will always be easy. The 
branches are tied in the Spring to 
I a stake or a small trellis to prevent 
i the new shoots from being broken 
; off by the wind. In the East vini- 
feras cannot be expected to cover 
fences and arbors. Though Sum- 
mer pruning generally is not con- 
ducive to vigor, it Ig sometimes 
best to pinch back the rapidly 
growing canes to aid in producing 
a low-growing vine with plenty of 
buds close to the earth, in order to 



keep the vine compact for Winter 
coverage. If axial buds at the base 
of the leaves begin to grow the 
same year that they are put forth, 
they should be removed, as they 
shade the fruit unduly and their 
only merit Is for the production of 
next year's fruiting shoots. 

Grafting a Necessity 

In order to combat phylloxera, 
grafting is absolutely necessary 
either onto a native American va- 
riety, such as the Concord or the 
Clinton, or onto a wild native. The 
grape may be bench-grafted or 
field-grafted. Care is taken in 
cleft-grafting not to split the root 
stock but to saw it with a hack- 
saw. Of course, California nur- 
series offer grafted vines that are 
very good if one has had no expe- 
rience in grafting other types of 
fruit. In planting these grafted 
vines care is taken not to set the 
grafted vine below the level of the 
soil, as the cion will take root and 
thus nullify the effect of grafting. 

Spraying with Bordeaux mixture 
before the grape flowers open and 
again after the grapes set, and 
twice thereafter at two-week inter- 
vals, will usually rout mildew and 
black rot. Arsenate of lead for the 
leaf eaters and a nicotine spray for 
the leaf hoppers may accompany 
the Bordeaux. 




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pH preference of VEGETABLES ^^^^^''fe' 



Alfalfa A 

Asparagus A 

Barley A 

Beans C 

Beets A 

Bent Grass D 

Blue Berries E 

Blue Grass A 

. Broccoli B 

Cabbage A 

Carrots A 

Cauliflower A 

Celery A 

Chicory B 

' Corn B 

Clover • A 

Cowpeas C 

Cranberries E 

Cucumber B 

Currants C 

Eggplant B 

Endive B 

Gooseberry C 

Grapes D 

Kale B 



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Leek 

Lettuce 

Muskmelons B 

Oats C 

Onions A 

Parsley A 

Parsnips D 

Peas B 

Peppers C 

Plums D 

ggt^toej D^ 

Pumpkm D 

Radish B 

Raspberries B 

Red Clover B 

Rhubarb B 

Rye C 

Spinach B 

Squash C 

Tomato C 

Turnip C 

Rutabaga C 

Watermelon B 

Wheat A 



I 



pH preference of FLOWERS 



According To 
Our Chart 



Azaleas E 

Anemone B 

Aster B 

Begonia B 

Bleeding Heart C 

Bouvardia C 

Calendula A 

Candy Tuft B 

Canna B 

Carnation B 

Centaurea B 

Cineraria A 

Chrysanthemum B 

Clarkia B 

Clematis A 

Columbine B 

Cosmos B 

Cyclamen C 

Dahlia B 

Delphinium C 

Didiscus B 

Easter Lily C 

Euphorbia C 

Feverfew B 

Ferns C 

For Get Me Not A 

Fuschia B 

Gardenia E 

Genista A 

(ieranium A 

Gerbera A 

Gladiolus B 

Godetia B 

Heather D 

Heliotrope A 

Holly E 

Hyacinth B 



Hydrangea Blue E 

Pink Ci 

Iris . . . Bi 

Lady Slipper E J 

Larkspur Bj 

Lilac 

Lily 

Lupine 

Marigold 

Mignonette 

Morning Glory 

Myosotia 

Narcissus 

^Nasturtium Al 

Orchid D 

Pansy B^ 

Peony B 

Primula B 

Poinsettia B j^ 

Petunia A '^- 

Phlox -. C^' 

Poppy B-^ 

Rhododendron C 

Rose fl> 

St. Paulia B 

Salpiglosis B 

Scabiosa B 

Schizanthus B 

Snapdragon B 

Stocks . B 

Swainsonia ^ 

Sweet Peas A 

Tulips B 



Violet 
Westeria 
Woodbine 
Yucca . . . 
Zinnia . . . 



^^\>r< 



i 



On every bag of fertilizer there will be found 
:ee figures. They refer to the fertilizer formula, 
■or instance, 5-8-7 means that the bag contains 
5% nitrogen, 8% phosphorus and 7% potash. 
The formula is always stated in that order. It 
really seems foolish to purchase fertilizer without 
first knowing the particular kind of plant food 
that is deficient in your soil. This kit was designed 
to assist you in determining which plant foods 
need supplementing. 

PLANT FOOD TEST 

Let's test for nitrogen first, for that is repre- 
sented by the first figure in the formula on the 
fertilizer bag. See the paragraph on selecting soil 
amples, under "testing for acidity." Proceed the 
ame as with the acidity test. (Quarter test tube 
full of soil; quarter test tube full of solution.) 
iways use test tube with white cork for nitrogen 
sts. Be sure to wash out the test tube after each 
St is made. 

After the soil has completely settled at the 
ottom of the test tube compare the color of the 
ear liquid with the nitrogen color chart. "A" on 
e color chart indicates the minimum of nitrogen 
required; while "B", "C" and "D" indicate de- 
ficiency. Even with an "A" reading we recommend 
that your fertilizer should contain 2% nitrogen. 
"B" requires 3%, "C" 4%, "D" 6%, and "E" 8%. 
We have now found the first figure that should 
appear on the fertilizer bag. However, if you wish 
to apply nitrogen separately, it may be obtained in 
the following form: dried blood 12%; tankage 
8%; bone meal 3%; horn meal 12%; ground fish 
meal 8%; cotton seed meal 8%; nitrate of soda 
15%; amonium sulphate 20%; calcium nitrate 
15%; urea 46%; amohium nitrate 36%; potas- 
um nitrate 14%. 
Some nitrageous fertilizers such as nitrate of 



SWEET OR SOUR SOIL 

Most gardeners know that sweet soil refers to 
ilkaline soil; while sour soil is acid. Neither 
sweet or sour — alkaline or acid — are definite 
terms, for there are degrees of acidity or alkalinity. 
The pH scale is used to denote the degree of 
acidity or alkalinity. On this scale 7 represents 
neutral; the figures below 7 represent the degree 
of acidity, while the figures above represent the 
degree of alkalinity. On our lime color chart "A" 
equals 71/2 pH; this is just above neutral. "B", 
63/4 pH; "C" 6 pH; "D" 51/4 pH; and "E" 
41/2 pH. . 

The importance of adjusting the pH (sweet oi;* 
sour) of the soil to meet the plant requirements isl 
being emphasized more each year. Crop failures . 
with florists, truck gardeners, farmers, and back- 
yard gardeners can often be traced to too sweet or 
too sour soil condition. For instance, from the 
following table, you will find that azaleas require • 
an acid soil condition represented by "E" on our 
color chart ; while carnations require a more neutral 
soil represented by "B". Therefore, it is nearly 
physically impossible to produce satisfactory results 
if these two plants are placed in the same bed, for 
their pH preferences are radically different. 

You will also note that hyderangeas will change 
color from blue to pink if the pH value of the soil 
is raised from "E" to "C". It is just as foolish to 
try to produce a satisfactory crop of asparagus and 
potatoes, side by side, in the same soil. Bent grass 
'id clover will not make satisfactory growth in 
same lawn. 

iltfiough lime is not a fertilizer it does promote 
teria growth and makes more available natural 
It food that may be already in the soil. 



SELECTING SOIL SAMPLE 



I 

or ^ 



Obtain soil about 2 inches under the surfai 
and be careful not to touch it with your hands 
put it in any container that may contaminate it. 
Probably the easiest way available to the average 
gardener is to dig out a soil sample with a spoon 
and put it in a clean drinking glass. 



TESTING FOR ACIDITY 

To determine the acidity of a soil sample fill the 
test tube, which has a red cork (always use the 
same test tube and the same cork for the acidity 
test), one quarter full of fine dry soil. Avoid 
touching soil sample with your hands. Then pour 
into the partly filled test tube acidity or lime testing .^ 
solution until tube is half full. Shake the mixtu " 
thoroughly (be sure the test tube is closed wit| 
cork and not the finger) and allow the soil to settl 
Some soils will settle rapidly, while others m 
take several hours. It is well to allow the solutions 
to set over night if possible. The transparent liquid 
above the soil can then be compared with the colors 
on our lime color chart. There is an advantage of 
comparing these colors in daylight. 



I 



After you have determined the pH of the soil, 
consult the list of pH preferences of plants, which 
you will find in this instruction sheet. If the soil 
condition, as it exists, does not meet with your 
plant requirements, it can easily be changed. To 
raise the pH value one step on our color chart, 
add 5 lbs. ground lime stone per hundred squar 
feet. Use 25% less of hydrated lime. To lowe 
the pH value one step on the color chart, ap 
11/2 lbs. aluminum sulphate per 100 square fe 




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Scale 

Lemon oil and some of the 
commercial insecticides are also 
effective remedies for aphids. 

Smooth-leaf plants like palms, 
dracenas, ferns and English ivies 
are, as the winter progresses, at- 
tacked by hard-shelled little in- 
sects, known as scale. The only 
way to banish this insect is to 
literally scrub him away or, if it 
seems easier, you may dislodge 
the individual insects with a 
toothpick dipped in oil of lemon. 
Owin^ to his hard shell insecti- 
cides "have little or no effect. 

When you have removed every 
insect wash the leaves with cold, 
soapy water. In the future make 
it a rule to sprinkle the tops 
every day. Cleanliness is the 
ounce of prevention that is 
worth the pound of cure when 
it comes to Insect enemies of 
house plants. 

Fortunately some of the newer 
house plants, like, for example, 
the pothos-vin^ and the^pl^lo- 
dendfon, are virtually nev^ 
troubled with aphids. Begonias 
and geraniums are other plants 
that are virtually never attacked 
by aphids. 




^^^ ^-*-* 






Stettdy Warfare 
Controls Aphids 

By Dr. Jane Leslie Kift 

In la>-e January the mailman 
always brings me hundreds of 
SOS letters concerning plant 
lice. If preventive methods are 
used from this time on there will 
be little need for aid in fighting 
these insects in late winter. 

If you sprinkle the tops of 
your plants and take care of 
them generally, the aphids can 
almost always be kept in check 
and thus prevented from doing 
much damage. But neglect your 
plants for even a short time and 
you will be surprised some day to 
find the young and tender 
branches of many of the usual 
home varieties literally covered 
with green lice. 

The insects multiply with won- 
derful rapidity if left alone, and 
in a short time will utterly ruin \ 
any plant to which they have at- 
tached themselves. Persistent I 
warfare must be waged against 
'tl^em. 

Tobacco solution is the weap- 
on with which to combat the 
aphids. To make this effective, 
a considerable quantity should 
be prepared and the plants held 
upside down and dipped in it. 
The plants must be permitted to 
remain in the insecticide about 
three minutes. 




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A Greenhouse 
To Stow Away 

Architect Designs Lean-To 

That May Be Taken Down 

In Spring and Sunimer 



By C. F. GREEVES-CARPENTER 

A "demountable" greenhouse, de- 
sigrned by a Philadelphia architect, 
offers a solution to those home own- 
j crs who wish to enjoy the beauty of 
growing flowers during Winter and 
yet need the space, during Spring 
and Summer, occupied by the green- 
house. 

George A. Robbins, the archi- 
tect referred to, has installed at his 
residence near Ambler a removable 
lean-to greenhouse that covers a 
10x7 area of the flagstone terrace 
during Winter. Access to it is 
through French windows leading 
from the dining room. ' Naturally, 
the demountability somewhat com- 
plicates both the design and con- 
struction of this novel greenhouse. 
Such a lean-to must be adapted to 
fit the particular conditions exist- 
ing at the house against which it is 
erected. 

I The walls of Mr. Robbins's lean- 
j to are framed with 2x3's, insulated 
I with double-thick balsam wool and 
1 sheathed inside and out with %-inch 
! plywood. Stock 3 feet by 6 feet 
I single-glazed cold-frame sash pro- 
j vides the glass area. The sash is 
I installed at an angle of 53 degrees 
to the horizontal, which for this 
particular latitude assures the 
maximum benefit fi^om the sun's 
rays during Winter. This angle 
would vary in different sections of 
-th« country, but by adding the lati- 
tude to 102 degrees and subtracting 
thiwrvalue from 180 degrees, and 
then subtracting the figure thus ob- 
tained from 90 degrees, the angle 
I of the sash may be determined for 
I any given location. 

The roof consists of two over- 
1 lapping sheets of galvanized iron 
I supported on a framework of 2x3'a 
I between the uprights. Plywood 
! forms the ceiling in the lean-to and 



THE "DEMOUNTABLE" GREENHOUSE 




balsam wool is packed between it 
and the galvanized iron. The floor 
is formed by laying waterproof 
paper on the flagstone terrace. Two 
by threes are laid on it and on top 
of these, after the intervening space 
is packed with balsam wool, hard 
wallboard is placed to form the 
floor surface. 

The plant benches are, of course, 
not real greenhouse benches but 
are improvised by resting -loose | 
boards and frames on wooden • 
horses, so that the benches may be 
easily taken down. The middle sash 
was installed in such a manner that 
It may be slipped down and taken 
off for convenience in filling the 
benches. 

Electric Heating Used 

Lighting and heating follow the 
new trend in small gre'enhouse prac- 
tice, as both are furnished by four 
ordinary 200 and 300-watt electric 



light bulbs equipped with reflectors 
and suspended above the benches 
on pulleys. The lights should bt 
hung at least one foot above the 
plants or burning will result. As 
the plants grow very rapidly under 
these controlled conditions, the 
lights must be elevated frequently. 
They are thermostatically controlled 
so that an even temperature of 63 
degrees is maintained. 

The greenhouse is planted with 
house plants and annuals. Among 
the latter, calendula, schizanthus, 
stock and heliotrope predominate. 
Climbing nasturtiums grow extraor- 
dinarily well under the conditions 
I obtaining in the lean-to, and they 
are continually sending out shoots 
I and blooms. Growing very rapidly, 
they are trained up on strings at 
the sides and top of the lean-to 80 
that they form a colorful frame to 
the house. 



SOILLESS CULTURE-SIMPLIFIED 

By ALEX LAURIE, Professor of Floriculture in Ohio State Univer- 
sity. Unbiased, up-to-date information on the scientifically-tested 
methods of growing ornamental plants in water, gravel, and other 
media without the use of soil. Illustrated. $2.50 



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Texas doctor read a book by Darwin - 
d created a new profession for himself 



r 

/ ir^ ^9^^ ^^' George Sheffield Oli- 

I ver of Fort Worth, Texas, 
JL happened upon a book by 
Charles Darwin speculating on the 
role of the earthworm as a soil im- 
prover and aid to plant growth. 
Being a curious-minded fellow'and 
an ardent gardener, Dr. Oliver de- 
ided to test out Darwin's theories, 
procured a number of targe 
^er pots, painted half the pots 
[■^Bfi-iMF and the others green. In each 
M SK^mir of red and green pots he planted 
»^^^™"'4ke same common flowers or vegeta- 
bles. But he carefully sifted the 
topsoil in the red pots to remove 
all worms and their eggs, while in 
each green pot he placed a few 
worms. 

Some weeks later he had un- 
questionable evidence that Dar- 
win was right. The plants in the 
green pots were stronger and nearly 
twice the size of those in the red. 
And some of the red-pot plants 
were damaged by insects, which 
ignored the more luxuriant plants 
grown in the worm-worked soil. 
Thus started a series of experi- 
ments which resulted in a new and 
lazing profession for Dr. Oliver, 
a valuable soil-improvement 



Karthworm Farmer 

Condensed from Nature Magazine 
John Edwin Hogg 




1 



system for everyone who wants to 
grow anything. 

Dr. Oliver began to propagate 
earthworms in artificial culture 
beds. He soon found that raising 
worms literally by the billions was 
simple enough — largely a matter 
of feeding them well with sugar and 
fats, which he provided in the form 
of carob pods and soapy water. He 
"planted" the worms in his gar- 
dens, around his fruit trees, all 
over his property. The resujt: 
better flowers, vegetables and trees, 
faster growth, and a high degree of 
immunity from insect pests. 

The earthw^orm is an amazing 
combination of chemist and borer, 
and has the voracity of a grist mill; 
it is constantly devouring earth, 
dried leaves and other decomposing 
organic material. Everything it 
swallows is pulverized in its chicken- 
like gizzard and passed out in the 
form of castings which are a perfect 
form of soil humus. Furthermore, 
worm tunnels speed oxidation and 
nitrification of the soil, and act as 
watering tubes in which rain is 
stored six feet or more in the ground. 

As Dr. Oliver continued his ex- 
periments, word spread through 



Copyright /p/o, American Nature Assn.y 1214 16 St., N.fF., Washington, D. C. 
{Nature Magazine, January, '//) 



SS 



54 



THE READER S DIGEST 



Fort Worth and Dallas that he had 
some magic formula for making 
things grow. Within two years he 
sold his medical practice and 
opened offices as a "Landscape 
Engineer." By 1920 he had rolled 
up a comfortable personal fortune 
beautifying private estates, parks 
and cemeteries. 

Then he went to Los Angeles, to 
improve the estates of movie stars. 
On a lo-acre experimental farm he 
pursued his researches with so 
much industry and success that to- 
day he is recognized as the world's 
greatest authority on anything per- 
taining to earthworms. 

In 1937 Dr. Oliver published a 
three-volume report on his scien- 
tific findings. Our Friend the Earth- 
worm. This work has helped hun- 
dreds of farmers in almost every 
state in the Union to restore fertil- 
ity to barren land in which the 
worm had been exterminated by 
the use of strong chemical fertiliz- 
ers and insect sprays. 

Dr. Oliver is the only scientist 
who has succeeded in hybridizing 
various of the 1 100 species of earth- 
worm. He produces and markets 
new types peculiarly suited for spe- 
cific purposes. For frog farmers, 
poultrymen, and operators of fish 
hatcheries and game bird farms, he 
has evolved a lo-inch "meaty" 
creature. Another of his hybrids is 
used to produce a colorless, odor- 



less oil useful in the medical 
fession. In great demand is 
coolie soil-worker — a hardy c 
ture of prodigious energy which he 
developed by crossing the large 
English brandling and the small 
California orchard worm. 

Worms lay their eggs enclosed 
in a sort of capsule. Packed in 
damp peat moss, a million capsules 
make a small package that is easily 
shipped. After 30 days in suitable 
soily those million capsules will 
hatch 12 to 16 million tiny worms, 
which in another 90 days become 
adult egg-layers. 

The results of which Dr. Olivei 
is fJroudest have come from 
several hundred farmers in C^Ji^ 
fornia and other states where \^ 
teadiings have had as much as 10 
years of practical application. Maay 
were brought back from the verge 
of bankruptcy. With billions of 
earthworms at work for them, the 
fertility of their soil is now being 
restored faster than the crops take 
it out. Their enterprises flourish 
with less soil cultivation and, in ir- 
rigated areas, half the water cost 
of neighboring farms. 

Dr. Oliver has proved the truth 
of Darwin's words: "Without the 
humble earthworm, who knows noth- 
ing of the benefits he confers upon 
mankind, agriculture as we know 
it would be very difficult, if not 
impossible." 



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1 




The Man Without a Plow 



Condensed from Capper's Farmer 



George A. Montgomery 



FEW and simple were the 
principles of agriculture 
Chris Bixel, Swiss immi- 
grant, had learned in his native 
Alps. There, steep hillsides re- 
mained in Nature^s sod. Cows ate 
the grass. The husbandman took 
the milk, kept back what his fam- 
ily needed, and made the rest into 
cheese to sell for other wants of 
livelihood. Forced to venture In 
a new land because his own was 
overcrowded, Bixel took a farm 
In Goodhue county, Minnesota, 
because its broken terrain resem- 
bled that of his own Switzerland 
more closely than any other he 
could find. 

There, except to a few of his 
Swiss neighbors, he was marked 
as a queer man. He owned no 
plow. While other farmers tilled 
their corn and bent their backs to 
harvest, Bixel milked his cows 
twice a day, made his cheese and 
puttered in his garden. Each fall 
he hired two neighbor boys, Otto 
and Adolph A. Andrist, to drive 
his surplus, grass-fattened cattle 
to market, and he followed in a 
wagon loaded with cheese. He 
sold the products of his soil, 
bought and loaded needed com- 
modities and, with the boys, re- 
Reprinted by permission from Capper's 

13 



traced his way along the prairie 
trail. 

Once he showed his young 
helpers the money he was taking 
home. On young Adolph Andrist, 
it made a profound impression. 
He never had known anyone to 
have so much at one time. And, 
of all persons, it was Chris Bixel, 
the neighbor who didn't sweat 
and slave like other farmers, the 
man without a plow! The boy 
was old enough to begin reason- 
ing things out for himself. He 
pondered the matter as they rode 
on, and concluded people had 
misjudged the Swiss dairyman. 
Back home, he remarked to his 
father: "When I strike out for 
myself, I am going to farm like 
Chris Bixel." 

The man from the Swiss Alps 
years ago passed on, but his idea 
still lives. On a neighboring farm 
of 91 acres, Adolph A. Andrist 
has been a sod cropper more 
than 30 years. Unlike his precep- 
tor, he owns a plow, but It turns 
no soil except his garden. Build- 
ing sites, roads, garden and 
woodland occupy 12.4 of the 91 
acres; the other 78.6 acres are In 
grass crops grown for cow feed. 
Andrist rents no land and buys 

Farmer, Topeka. Kansas. June. 1941 



14 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



October 



little provender, yet he wintered 
54 Holsteins last year; 64 the 
previous one. For the latest full 
year completed, milk and veal 
calf sales aggregated more than 
$3,400, and all his herd ate that 
the farm didn't grow cost $146.24 
—$128 of it for 12 acres of fod- 
der, and the rest for 96 bushels 
of oats he fed to calves. Value of 
products above feed outlay was 
$3,254, which is $41.40 for each 
productive acre. 

That isn't to say, of course, 
that each acre of grass brings 
more than $40, for from income 
must be deducted cost of trucking 
milk, allowance for operating 
labor and other expenses inci- 
dental to production. The figure 
is set down to show it isn't neces- 
sary to cultivate land to hold up 
gross income, which is the return 
before overhead costs are deduct- 
ed. And no one has to be told that 
overhead is less when there are 
no charges for plowing, seed, sow- 
ing, cultivating and harvesting — 
a condition that applies to 52 
acres of permanent pasture har- 
vested by grazing animals. Ten 
other acres of mixed bluegrass 
and white clover are grazed to 
June 1, when cows are removed 
a month to get a hay crop, then 
are turned in again. 

Andrist does not believe it ever 
will be necessary to plow up the 
other 16.6 acres, where alfalfa 
has been seeded down 7 years. 
He has kept up the stand by hir- 



ing a neighbor with tillage tools 
to scratch the surface and cover 
seed he has scattered on thin 
spots in August. Aside from this 
outlay, the only expenditure is 
in labor to harvest the hay. Al- 
falfa produces annually up to 6 
tons an acre, and the bluegrass- 
clover mixture 2.2 tons. Such a 
farming program requires little 
power and equipment — a 2-horse 
team, mower, side-delivery rake, 
loader, rack and manure spreader. 

Cows graze bluegrass from the 
time snow is off until it is covered 
again. During that period they 
harvest all they eat. No protein 
concentrate ever is fed, and the 
only grain the herd gets is that in 
fodder which supplements alfalfa 
hay in winter. In years when corn 
is well eared, those in milk may 
consume 10 bushels apiece; in 
other winters, half that much. 
Most of the cows freshen in May; 
the others in early June. Coming 
in when grass is at its best, they 
push off with a heavy flow of 
milk. New growth on the 10 acres 
of pasture mowed for hay sup- 
plies the high protein feed to hold 
them up on riper grass in July 
and August, and alfalfa meadow 
gives them another spurt in the 
fall. However, Andrist is careful 
not to graze legumes hard enough 
to weaken the stand. 

Fodder generally is fed until 
February 1. With no grain to 
supplement roughage after it is 
discontinued, cows drop off 



I 



1941 



THE MAN WITHOUT A PLOW 



15 



abruptly in production, and by 
February 15, Andrist has dried 
them off for a rest of 10 weeks or 
more before the next freshening. 
A longer lactation, or one started 
at another time of year, would 
require more grain. Shifting 
heaviest production to any period 
other than the pasture season 
would require purchase of pro- 
tein supplement in addition to 
grain. 

Since he is not in a testing as- 
sociation, Andrist does not know 
exact production of his cows, but 
the plant to which he sells paid 
him last year for 248 pounds of 
fat a cow. Each calf, before it is 
weaned, gets 900 pounds of whole 
milk containing 30 pounds of fat. 
He is convinced a cow not over- 
worked with too much rich feed 
has a longer productive expec- 
tancy than one held at top pro- 
duction through long lactations 
by heavy feeds of grain. He has 
a cow 18 years old, and 8 others 
are more than 12. All, he says, 
produce nearly as much as in 
their prime. 

So much for the herd under the 
Andrist system of management; 
what about the land? The farm is 
cut thru by a natural water chan- 
nel that drains a large area of 
steeply rolling land above. When 
snow melts in spring, runoff is 
abnormally heavy, and the 
stream at that time usually over- 
flows 30 acres of bottom land to 
lay down in the bluegrass a layer 



of yellow silt brought from hill- 
sides denuded of black loam and 
in some cases deeply gullied. The 
overflow area, which should be 
the richest soil he has, is the only 
tract Andrist believes is less pro- 
ductive than when he acquired 
the farm. All manure is hauled 
to steep upland fields, and he be- 
lieves they yield twice as much as 
when he bought the raw land. 
When an experiment station 
worker who came to the farm to 
make soil tests suggested he 
should cover this bottom with 
the spreader, he demurred; ma- 
nure is too valuable to be carried 
away by floods. Even on the 
sharpest slopes, roots have tied 
down the black soil, and not a 
gully can be found there. 

Delegations of farmers from a 
wide area, realizing something 
must be done to save their 
soil, have made tours to the farm. 
They go away convinced Andrist 
has shown the way to utilize 
rough land. As they walk about 
the place and hear its history it 
is hard for them to realize that 
this rough tract, bought without 
improvements at $56 an acre with 
a down payment of $500, should 
have produced enough to retire 
the debt in 6 years, pay for the 
set of buildings on it, and pro- 
vide a livelihood for Andrist, his 
wife, and a family of ten children, 
now grown to manhood and 
womanhood. 

What of boys who grow up to 



16 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



October 



that type of farming? Rolland, 
youngest son, recently entered 
into a 50-50 stock share agree- 
ment to operate his father's 91 
acres. Orian Andrist and Arnold 
Andrist, operated 160 acres on a 
50-50 lease until they were able 
to rent it at $4- an acre and put it 
to grass. They have seeded all 



but 12 acres. As soon as Otto 
Andrist was able to buy a 40-afa^ 
tract, he put it all to sod cropi. 
Other sons are tenants under SO- 
50 agreements or leases of con- 
ventional type because they can- 
not find farms whose owners 
know what a sod cropper can do. 



I 



II 



Calcium Needed in Fattening Rations 



Beef cattle feeding tests at the 
Kansas Agricultural Experiment 
Station show that more rapid and 
economical gains result when one- 
tenth of a pound of ground lime- 
stone per head daily is added to 
the ration of steer calves not re- 
ceiving alfalfa or other legumi- 
nous hays which normally contain 
high content of calcium. 

Two groups of steers were fed 
a basal ration consisting of shell- 
ed corn, sorgo silage and cotton- 
seed meal. One lot was fed, in 
addition, one-tenth of a pound of 
ground limestone per head daily. 
This latter group required 98 
pounds less corn, 101 pounds less 



silage and 13 pounds less protein 
meal to produce 100 pounds of 
gain than did the group of steers 
not receiving the added calcium. 
On the market, the calcium fed 
steers commanded a 50 cent per 
cwt. higher selling price than the 
other group. 

The economy resulting from 
the feeding of calcium in rations 
low in this needed mineral can be 
seen readily, particularly when 
one considers the feeding of a 
large group of steers and intends 
to put on several hundred pounds 
per steer. 

— Shorthorn World 



I 



i 



CU-JU^-^ (Pc 



The Farmer^s Digest 



Volume 5 



October, 1941 



Number 6 



Cover Farming 

Condensed from Successful Farming 
Carlyle Hodgkin 



THE endless, ever-pressing 
problem of farmers over 
that broad region extending 
roughly from the Cornbelt to the 
Rocky Mountains is to get 
enough water Into the ground to 
grow crops. With their attention 
focused on this key problem of 
the Plains area, two soils re- 
search men set to work in the 
spring of 1938. What, they asked 
themselves, might Plains farmers 
(and Cornbelt farmers, too) do 
to make better use of the rain 
that falls? 

The two experimenters are Dr. 
F. L. Duley, a soils man of pre- 
vious experience in both Missouri 
and Kansas, and Professor J. C. 
Russel, of Nebraska. Their work 
is set up as a co-operative project 
between the Research Division of 
the Federal Soil Conservation 
Service and the Nebraska Agri- 
cultural Experiment Station. The 
new thing these men are develop- 
ing is a system of tillage that 
keeps the crop residues on top 

Reprinted by permission from Successful 



of the ground instead of plowing 
them under. Interested outsiders 
watching their progress have 
dubbed this system "cover" 
farming. To work the land suc- 
cessfully with straw, stubble, or 
cornstalks left on top, the two 
men have had to improvise their 
own tools — tillers, cultivators, 
drills, packers. Manufacturers 
have watched this work closely 
from the beginning, however, and 
are developing machines adapted 
specifically for this new way of 
farming. 

The primary tool they've em- 
ployed Duley and Russel call a 
"subsurface tiller," and its opera- 
tion In the field, "subsurface till- 
age." The machine consists of a 
series of large V-shaped sweeps 
that run level, two, four, or six 
inches deep and pulverize the soil 
without turning it upside down. 
Thus most of the straw or other 
"cover" remains on the surface. 
Ahead of each sweep is a rolling 
coulter that keeps the machine 

Farminer, Des Moines. Iowa, Juljr, 1941 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 

in heavy 



October 



from clogging, even 

^^^"^:hh%weerUngfrom 

turers witn swc y 

20 to 45 inches w:de^ Other yp^^ 

using blades or bars 

^^"Whatwehopetofindeventu- 

continuous, year-round protec 
Sn by crops and crop residues 

Evaporation, these men be- 
lieve is a great moisture tbef_ m 

he high Plains country gettmg 
away with far more of the annual 
aUu than is generally reahzed 

In hot, dry weather it will take 
all the available moisture out ot 
the top six inches of bare soil 

In one test, during which 17.V 
inches of rain fell, land covered 
with straw at the rate of about 
two tons per acre saved V./ 
inches of water, or 54 percent. 
Two tons of straw per acre, Rus- 
sel said, is about equivalent to 
the straw and stubble left on the 
ground after fairly heavy wheat 
has been combine-harvested. 

In the same test, bare basin- 
listed land saved only 4.9 inches, 
or 27.4 percent, of the water 



test lost water by both evapora- .^ 
tion and runoff. It saved only 3.7 
inches of the water, or 21 per- 
cent. Long experience indicates 
that bare summer fallow will, as 
an average, conserve for crop use 
about 25 percent of the season's 
rainfall. In the test cited above, 
bare fallow saved only 21 percent 
whereas the straw-covered fallow 
saved 54 percent. And in other 
tests straw-covered fallow con- 
served 15 percent of the moisture 
when the summer was so dry that 
bare land saved no water at all. 
Should subsurface tillage prove 
to be consistently more efficient 
as a moisture-saving method, its 
value to the Great Plains arid 
other low-rainfall regions would 
be incalculable. 

Now comes the part ot tnis 
research of greatest interest to 
farmers in the Cornbelt. Working 
with L. L. Kelly, agricultural en- 
gineer for the Soil Conservation 
Service, Duley studied the rate 
at which water will go into the 
ground. They found that dry, 
bare soil will take In water very 
rapidly at first and then more 
slowly. Why? a , ^„ 

"Put your hands down flat on 



or 27.4 percent, of the water. ruL yuu. ..c...... j fipia dur 

°None of *e remaining 13 inches the ™*- ° 4^7,1*;'', tn 
ran off, because the basms never mg or just after a neavy^^ ^^, 



were overflowed, so the research 
men assume it all must have 
evaporated. 

There was no apparent runoff 
from the straw-covered plot, but 
bare plowed ground in the same 



Duley said, "and you can feel 
why. Dig up a small section ol 
soil after the rain and you can 
see why." The grinding, churn- 
ing action of hard rain on the 
soil, he explained, soon forms a 



t 



' 



1941 



COVER FARMING 



fine, compact, almost waterproof 
surface layer. It usually is not 
more than one-sixteenth inch 
thick, but it fits over the surface 
like a skin. No matter how much 
empty pore space in the soil be- 
low, it can be filled no faster than 
the water can get through that 
surface layer. 

Crop residue on the surface 
tends to prevent formation of 
this surface film. When the re- 
search men applied water on 
bare and straw-covered land, the 
intake rate at first was about the 
same for both. On the bare land, 
however, it soon decreased to a 
rate of one-quarter inch per hour, 
becoming practically constant at 
that point. The straw-covered 
land, even after several hours of 
continuous "rain," continued to 
take water at the rate of three- 
quarters inch per hour. 

In the Cornbelt soil-erosion 
control is a key problem, one that 
Duley and Russel are working 
on now. Can subsurface tillage 
be adapted as a practical, effec- 
tive means of erosion-control in 
this great region? The prelimi- 
nary findings are at least encour- 
aging. In one test, during which 
7.12 Inches of rain fell, the two 
men measured both the runoff 
and erosion from bare and straw- 
covered ground. 

The straw-covered ground lost 
1.26 Inches of the water by run- 
off, and the water carried away 
soil at the rate of 2.2 tons per 



acre. The bare, disked ground 
lost 3.06 Inches, and the water 
carried away soil at the rate of 
26.8 tons per acre. Thus the 
runoff from the bare, unprotected 
soil was 2.4 times as much, but 
the soil loss was 12.1 times as 
much as on soil protected by crop 
residues. 

The two research men are at 
work now to develop a practical 
scheme of growing corn by sub- 
surface tillage. They have sub- 
tilled heavy wheat stubble and 
planted corn by means of fur- 
row-openers on the planter. In 
other tests they have worked 
down cornstalks with a stalk-cut- 
ter and then planted the corn 
with a subsurface tiller, mounting 
a planter box over each second 
21 -Inch sweep. They have tended 
the crop with subsurface sweeps 
mounted on the beams of a corn 
cultivator. 

By these methods Duley and 
Russel have been able to get good 
corn yields and at the same time 
greatly reduce soil-erosion. Why? 
Because the surface of the soil 
was kept protected throughout 
the season by residues from the 
previous crop. Continuous, year- 
round protection ! 

The work Duley and Russel 
started Is by no means done yet. 
It Is only well begun, but It has 
produced results. Some of their 
findings are taking on signifi- 
cance, not only for the Great 
Plains, but for the whole vast 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



October 



Cornbelt and for the South and 
possibly for other farming re- 
gions of the country. 

"Cover" such as straw or chop- 
ped cornstalks on the surface of 
the land, they have found, will do 
four highly important things. It 
will enable the soil to take water 
in more rapidly, prevent wind 
erosion almost entirely, sharply re- 
duce run-off and water erosion, and 
reduce the water loss from the 
soil by evaporation. Nature has 
set the example by protecting her 
soil with a thick carpet of grass. 
But farmers up to now have 
plowed under that cover, leaving 
the bare soil exposed to the forces 
of water, wind, and sun. 



Though the whole idea still is 
experimental, a few farmers in 
Nebraska are beginning to try it 
on their own hook. And the effec- 
tivness of soil cover against wind 
erosion has been apparent at 
once. "If this had been developed 
15 years ago," one fellow said, 
"we wouldn't have had those ter- 
rible dust storms during the 
drought years." It seems reason- 
able to think, in fact, that had 
subsurface tillage or "cover" 
farming been in general practice, 
there might never have developed 
the great Dust Bowl. 




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Cows Prove That They Can Take It 

Condensed from The Jersey Bulletin 



DAIRY cows kept in a cold 
pen-type barn during the 
past two winters, produced 
nearly as much milk as did their 
herd mates kept in stalls in a 
typical dairy barn. That is what 
four research workers at the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin are reporting 
upon an investigation set up two 
years ago. 

To test the idea that modern 
dairy cows might be unnecessarily 
pampered — that they might do 
about as well in cold low-cost 
barns made with single, insulated 
walls, earth floors, and no stanch- 
ions, with manure and bedding 
removed only once or twice a 
year. 

Such a barn on the University 
of Wisconsin farm near Madison 
is being compared with a warm, 
stall-type barn. The performance 
of cows is being asked to tell the 
story. So far it is still an open 
question whether, everything con- 
sidered, the pen barn is as satis- 
factory as a conventional barn. 

The Wisconsin investigators 
are certain good production is 
possible in a cold barn. They re- 
port that cows kept in the pen 
barn averaged 41.9 lbs. milk per 
animal daily over a six-month pe- 
riod from October to April dur- 
ing each of the past two years. 



By way of contrast, stall barn 
cows averaged 2.8 lbs. more milk 
per day in the 1942-43 season, 
and 3.5 lbs. more the previous 
year. 

So far, production has been 
about 73^ % better in the stall 
barn, but it is not yet certain that 
the type of barn or its tempera- 
ture is responsible for the differ- 
ence. If the stall barn has had 
somewhat better animals than the 
pen barn, in spite of efforts to 
maintain equally good cows in 
both, that can account for the 
difference in production. So to 
settle the question it will be 
necessary to divide the herd again 
and continue the trials for sev- 
eral more years. 

There has never been any ab- 
normal drop in the production of 
pen-barn cows during extreme 
cold spells — a fact which argues 
against the idea that low tempera- 
tures may be responsible for the 
slightly lower production of these 
animals. 

Although the pen barn has a 
generally low, widely-fluctuating 
temperature — only about 7 to 10° 
warmer than outdoors — neverthe- 
less the warm, fermenting ma- 
nure and bedding packed beneath 
the cows no doubt helps keep 
them comfortable, particularly 



Reprinted by permission from The Jersey Bulletin, Indianapolis, Indiana 

70 



1944 



COWS PROVE THAT THEY CAN TAKE IT 



71 



when lying down. Thermo- 
couples installed in the manure 
I just beneath the straw showed the 
temperature there to range be- 
tween 70 and 100° F., regardless 
of the weather. 

The quality of the milk, like its 
quantity, proved satisfactory In 
both barns, but not as high in the 
pen barn as in the other. Bac- 
teria counts taken at weekly in- 
tervals for two seasons averaged 
11,000 in the pen barn and 6,000 
in the stall barn. This means the 
milk from both barns was excep- 
tionally good, well below the 
50,000 count allowed for Grade 
A raw milk. 

In order to keep the pen-barn 
cows clean it is necessary to use 
about twice as much bedding as 
in the stall barn. That should not 
be any great disadvantage on 
farms with a surplus of straw, 
but it would be seriously objec- 
tionable where bedding is scarce 
or has to be purchased. 

As for the amount of hay and 
silage required, there was prac- 
trically no difference between the 
two barns during the 1942-43 sea- 
son. Pen-barn cows used some- 
what more hay than the others 
the first winter but evidently that 
was because they wasted some 
when it was fed in an outdoor 
rack. All roughage has since been 
fed in an inside bunk which holds 
wastage to a minimum. 

Pen-barn cows have consumed 
slightly less grain and other con- 



centrates than have the stall- 
barn animals during the past two 
years, but this only reflects the 
fact that all cows are fed accord- 
ing to production. 

On at least one point — freedom 
from hock and knee injuries — 
animals kept in the pen barn 
clearly have been ahead. There 
has been no trouble whatever 
with these ailments in the pen 
barn, whereas more than half 
the stall-barn cows have suffered 
from them to some degree. Evi- 
dently the large Holsteins used in 
this investigation — they average 
more than 1,450 pounds apiece — 
are especially susceptible to in- 
juries of this sort when kept on 
hard floors, but escape when ma- 
nure and bedding are allowed to 
pile up underneath them. 

Sore feet, which develop more 
often than knee and hock in- 
juries in most herds, have not 
shown up In many cases in this 
investigation, but they have been 
more common in the stall barn/ 
than in the other. 

In other respects there has been 
no Important difference In the 
health of animals kept In the two 
barns, although the pen-barn 
cows have had better appetites 
and gained more weight — the lat- 
ter at least in part compensating 
for their slightly lower milk pro- 
duction. 

Calves have done well enough 
in the cold pen barn, although 
they have not gained weight quite 






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The Farmer's Digest 



11 



Volume 8 



November, 1944 



Number 6 i 



Man with a Bull-Tongue Scooter 

Condensed from The Atlanta Constitution 
Harold Martin 





THIS is a story about a man 
to whom the next generation 
may be erecting monuments 
as one of the greatest men this 
section of the country ever pro- 
duced. 

His name is Mack Gowder. He 
is sixty-one years old and he lives 
in the Dewberry community of 
Hall county, eight miles north- 
east of Gainesville, Georgia. And 
already, though he lives far oif 
the main road and his place is 
hard to find unless you know the 
way, the world is beginning to 
beat a footpath to his door to 
view the better mousetrap he has 
built. 

He is just an ordinary looking 
fellow, red-headed, blue-eyed, 
and a little stooped from work. 
He wears an old felt hat with 
spots of oil on it, and an old 
brown coat that is torn, and the 
faded blue overalls that many a 
Georgia farmer wears, and he 
sees no sense in shaving during 
the week. 

He lives in just an ordinary 

Reprinted by permission from The Atlanta 



house — ^tin-roofed and unpainted, 
with lightning-rods at the cor- 
ners, and there is nothing un- 
usual about it except the fact that 
all the food that's in it — and 
there is plenty — except the sugar 
and the salt and the coffee and 
the pepper, he raised himself on 
his own place. 

His barn is a log barn and his 
outbuildings sort of lean against 
the wind like everybody else's, 
and there is nothing unusual 
about them either, except that at 
this time of year, when nearly 
everybody is having to buy feed, 
he has got feed to sell and his 
stock are eating oats right now 
he cut year before last. 

There is nothing unusual about 
his car, which is a Buick nearly 
10 years old, and his truck, which 
is an old International, IS years 
old, and his wagon and his mules 
and his other gear, which is just 
about the same as you will see 
around any other farm. 

The main thing about Mack 
Gowder is his farm, for there is 

Constitution, April, 1944, Atlanta, Georgia 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



November 



no farm like it in Georgia. It sits 
like a garden of Eden, green and 
lush among the eroded hills, and 
the soil upon it is as deep and 
rich as if it were virgin soil that 
had never known a plow. It is as 
rich as bottom land, though every 
inch of it is steep and sloping 
land, just like land around it 
which shows great gullies like 
open wounds, and huge scalds 
where sheet erosion has washed 
the soil away. 

It lies in a horseshoe-shaped 
cup in a fold of the hills and its 
slopes drop from 15 to 20 feet to 
the hundred, though nearly any- 
body will tell you that you can't 
farm land that steep without it 
washing away. 

Looking at it this time of year, 
while Mack Gowder is getting 
ready to plant, except for fields 
where the grain grows thick and 
green, you'd think it was the sor- 
riest place you ever saw. 

The fields ready for planting 
don't lie smooth and bare to the 
wind and the sun and the rain 
like the fields on other farms. 
They are covered with trash and 
litter — cornstalks and cotton- 
stalks and stubbly peavines and 
the weeds that sprang up in them 
during the winter. 

It looks that way now and it 
will look that way when he plants, 
and it will continue to look that 
way right on, until the crops 
spring up to cover this trash and 



Mack Gowder starts harvesting 
his cotton and his corn and his 
grain in quantities three or four 
times as great as the average for 
his county. 

He knows why this is, and he 
is willing to tell anybody that 
will come to see him and ask him 
about it, and he will come out- 
side to talk about it to people 
gathering in groups whenever 
they ask him to. He doesn't talk 
about what he has done in any 
bragging way. He just explains 
it so that anybody can under- 
stand it, and if a body doesn't be- 
lieve what he says is true, it's all 
right with him. 

All they've got to do is to look 
at the steep slopes of his fields 
where the soil never washes away 
and look at his barn, bulging with 
feed for his stock, and his pantry, 
packed with food for his family. 
And if they are of a mind to, they 
can chmb his steep terraces and 
go right up on the steepest slope, 
where you'd think the soil would 
be thin and bleached out, and 
pick up a handful of it and see 
how black and mellow it is for 
eight inches underground. 

If they still needed convincing 
they could look at his books and 
see where for thirty years, in dry 
seasons and wet, he has always 
made money. And if they would 
ask him fof his secret — the main 
thing that is the basis for his 
prosperity — he would tell them 
in a few words : 



1 



I 



■ 



1944 



MAN WITH A BULL-TONGUE SCOOTER 



■ 



"Throw away your turn plow. 
Leave everything on the land you 
don't have to take off or sell. And 
let the clay stay where God Al- 
mighty put it— down under the 
ground." 

Forty years ago, when Mack 
Gowder was a tenant farmer 
working the other man's land, he 
started studying about what it 
was that was causing the land to 
wash away and wear out, and he 
came to the simple conclusion 
that the turn-plow was causing it, 
by burying the litter that lies on 
the land after a crop is gathered. 

To keep the land productive, 
he figured, you had to keep a 
good mulch on the top of the 
ground to hold the water on the 
soil, and at the same time you 
had to break up the ground so 
the water could soak in as it fell. 
You had to keep the plant food 
up close to the top of the ground 
where the roots of the plant could 
feed on it. 

He figured these things out 
thirty years before Mr. Faulkner 
wrote his book called Plowman's 
Folly, which has caused such a 
stir the past couple of years 
among all cultivators of the soil 
from plantation owners to victory 
gardeners. 

But there wasn't much to do 
about it so long as he worked the 
other man's land. So he saved 
what he made as a tenant until 
he got enough to buy a piece of 
land and he bought himself 100 



acres of woodland, there in the 
Dewberry community of Hall 
county, about three miles from 
the place he had been working as 
a tenant. 

"It hadn't been cleared," he 
said, "except in a few Httle spots 
that had just been hammer-hack- 
ed and gouged around in, and I 
knew that starting out from new 
ground like this I could find out 
whether or not I was right or 
wrong in the ways I had figured 
out of saving the soil." 

He rented a few acres to culti- 
vate while he started clearing his 
land and right there he did the 
first thing that was different. He 
didn't burn anything but the big- 
gest brush. The little limbs and 
trash that were left after he took 
the timber off he left lying on the 
ground to rot. 

When it came time to plow he 
knew there was no plow made 
that would handle the soil exactly 
as he wanted it handled, so he 
had to make his own. He took an 
old road scrape blade and ham- 
mered a slight curve in a section 
of it about 14 inches long and 
about 4>^ inches wide, and put 
a sharp point on it and fastened 
it on to a two-horse turner beam. 
He hitched up and tried it out 
and it went down deep, about 
12 to 14 inches, just enough to go 
into the top of the clay, and it 
rooted through the earth like a 
mole. It broke up the earth deep, 
but it left all the trash and litter 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



November 



lying right there on the top of the 
ground. 

Then he got a disk harrow and 
went over the ground that he had 
broken up with his home-made 
plow-point that he called a bull- 
tongue scooter, and the harrow 
chopped up all the debris that the 
scooter left lying on the top of 
the ground, and left it there on 
top, mixed up with about an inch 
or two of dirt. 

He had cleared about 30 acres 
and he plowed it all this way and 
he planted on it. He didn't build 
any terraces the first few years. 
He wanted to see if this mulchy 
top soil would hold by itself. 

It did hold except in the very 
heaviest gullywashing rains, 
though it lay on a 20 -degree 
slope. The hard rains made a few 
little washes, the beginning of 
trouble, so he built his terraces 
then. 

The crops he made in those 
first few years, and the way his 
soil stayed on the slopes, con- 
vinced him that he had hit on the 
right system. With a bull-tongue 
scooter and good bench terraces, 
backed up with a deep channel, 
he could save the soil. 

He has been farming that way 
now for thirty years, and he be- 
lieves his land is just as deep and 
rich today as it was the day he 
cleared it, thirty years ago. 

About ten years ago he had 
another idea. He figured if what 
he was doing could save good 



land and keep it from washing 
away the same system could be 
used to build up land that was 
worn out and eroded badly. 

So he bought himself 8 or 9 
acres that joined his place. It was 
land that had been broken with a 
turn-plow all the time that he had 
farmed with his scooter, and it 
had almost completely washed 
awdy. 

He walked over it the other 
day with me and Reese Dunson 
of the Soil Conservation office at 
Gainesville. "Right here," he said, 
"was a wash that a mule couldn't 
cross. It was a gully six or eight 
feet deep. Over there was another 
one." He pointed out these places 
that had once been deep washes, 
but we couldn't tell where they 
had been, so completely had he 
restored the soil. 

"It will be a long time," he 
said, "before the accumulation of 
trash and litter can build up this 
land to where it is as good as my 
original land. But right now it is 
making three to four times as 
much as it was when I took it 
over, and there is not a wash on 
it anywhere." 

There on top of the eroded hill 
he had restored to fruitful pro- 
duction he took off his hat and 
talked about the land as a man of 
the church might talk about his 
faith, with a depth of feeling that 
was almost religious. 

"I love the soil better than any 
man in the world, I reckon, or 



I 



p 



1944 



MAN WITH A BULL-TONGUE SCOOTER 



just as good," he said. "And to 
my mind a man who abuses it is 
committing a mortal sin." 

Mack Gowder, practices con- 
servation in many other ways. 
He never wastes anything. 

Tin funnels cost a dime at the 
hardware store. Mack Gowder 
makes his out of gourds. When he 
has to buy something in town, he 
takes a load of wood to sell for 
enough to pay for it. He cuts this 
wood from the diseased and 
twisted trees on his 75 acres of 
woodland, and by so "farming" 
his woods over a period of years 
he has got a thriving stand of saw 
timber coming along. 

But these little frugalities are 
not the secret of Mack Gowder's 
success. Many another farmer not 
doing nearly so well is just as 
"saving" by nature. 

Mack Gowder stands alone 
because of his methods of tilling 
the soil. And to show in some de- 
tail how his methods differ, it is 
necessary to follow him from win- 
ter plowing to fall harvest. 

With his bull-tongue scooter 
that does not turn the soil he 
breaks his land for sowing grain 
in late September and early Oc- 
tober. He chops up the debris left 
lying on top with a disc harrow, 
stirring the litter into the first 
inch or two of soil. He plants 
three pecks to a bushel per acre, 
planting with a regular oat drill, 
and he puts in 100 to 150 pounds 
of commercial fertihzer per acre. 



He does not top dress in the 
spring, like most folks, yet he 
makes 50 bushels of oats per acre 
against a county average of less 
than 25, and he makes 25 to 40 
bushels of wheat when the county 
averages about 10. 

From October to Christmas he 
prepares the land for the next 
spring's row crops. He sets the 
bull-tongue scooter to root 
through the soil from 12 to 14 
inches deep, going into the clay 
from three to four inches, but 
turning none of it up, and leaving 
all the debris on the ground to 
soak and rot in the winter rains. 

In the spring he harrows this 
planting, his rows, of course, fol- 
lowing the contours of the hills. 
His planting methods differ a 
little from the average, too. He 
plants everything "flat." He lays 
off for corn with the bull-tongue 
scooter with a pair of wings on it, 
which puts the corn in a shallow 
trough. He does not box-bed for 
corn which puts the seed down 
close to the clay. He plants his 
corn in five and six foot rows and 
plants 12 inches in the drill, 
which is thicker corn in wider 
rows that most folks prefer. 

He puts in no fertilizer at 
planting, but sidedresses with 
4-8-4 — about 300 pounds to the 
acre — when the corn is knee high 
and gives it 100 pounds of ni- 
trate of soda to the acre when it 
is just ready to tassel out. 

He cultivates with a scrape, 



6 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



November id 



plowing often but just barely 
breaking the surface, and at the 
last cultivation, he sows a bushel 
of peas to the acre, scratching 
them in with a gee-whiz. 

This way he makes 50 to 75 
bushels of corn to the acre and 
he has made as high as 90 bushels 
to the acre, which is bottomland 
production on steep upland. "I 
always have enough to do me and 
some to sell," he says. 

Planting cotton, he does not 
put in the fertilizer and then bed 
on that but drops 200 to 250 
pounds of fertilizer to the acre as 
he lays off and comes right be- 
hind that with the planter, plant- 
ing flat instead of bedding. He 
sets his planter to drop the seed 
from three to four inches apart 
and he never has to chop cotton. 
He may do a little thinning by 
hand, but not often. He plants in 
rows four feet apart instead of 
three feet, to let in plenty of sun- 
shine. 

He cultivates a little more than 
he does with corn, but he never 
side-dresses and he never poisons 
for the boll weevil. He goes 
through about twice with a hoe 
but there is never much to do. 

Normally, before the boll wee- 
vil, he made from a bale and a 
half to the acre to three and a 
half bales on two acres. The wee- 
vil now gets about a half bale 
per acre, and his year-in-and- 
year-out average is a bale to the 



acre. The country average is less 
than a half bale. 

He always follows grain with 
peas or soybeans, and he never 
row crops the same land twice in 
succession. 

His method of farming is both 
harder and easier than the turn- 
plow system. It takes a little 
longer to prepare the soil, for the 
bull-tongue scooter does not take 
as big a bite as the turn-plow. 
Later on, though, it is easier be- 
cause his crops get such a start 
they choke out a lot of the grass, 
and the grass and weeds are 
easier to kill because the land is 
so mellow it breaks away from 
their roots instead of clodding up 
when he plows. 

He read "Plowman's Folly" 
with no surprise, for it told him 
little he hadn't proved, long ago. 
He differs with it in one respect. 
He thinks the land must be 
broken deep so the water can go 
down, where "Plowman's Folly" 
says the surface mulch is all the 
water-retainer needed. He does 
not argue the point, he just be- 
lieves otherwise from his own ex- 
perience. 

One thing he does know. He 
has made money on his farm 
every year for 30 years, in good 
seasons and bad. And though the 
hills around him are eroded, his 
steep slopes still are as deep in 
good rich topsoil as they were the 
day they were cleared. 



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^Igi WEEKLY , 55. 

^^^3^"' totally different psychologically. The first is so 
enviously frustrating that men will always revolt when 
they are set to anything of the kind. The second will 

work, just so long as the fraud is not found out as it is 

already beginning to be. But the third will work for as 
long as men believe in the supernal and metaphysical 
ends which such building symbolizes. Early civiliza- 
tions, with none of the technical means we now com- 
mand, left memorials of themselves which are still the 
wonder of mankind, because they believed in some 
power beyond themselves. When the emergency to meet 
which Full Employment will be justified passes, our 
civilization will be confronted with the necessity of find- 
ing answers to questions which are more than economic. 
Those answers may be sought in the realm of what we 
inadequately call ' leisure,' or in the realm of a construc- 
tion which arises out of faith in what lies beyond man. 
Those answers may and should be the right ones; but 
there is another which has so far been found easier to 
provide. It has been given by two World Wars already, 
and if Full Employment is all we are going to aim at 
it will require a third. , 



.H 



Forum 



The danger of some fearful epidemic in Europe, com- 
parable to The Black Death, is grimly suggested by Mr 
F. Sykes of Chantry Chute in a; " News Letter on Com- 
post " which has just been sent to me. This is reprinted 
in pamphlet form, ana quotes from " English Farming, 
Past and Present " the alarming association of human 
and animal disease during the great plague and for a 
century after. " Successive outbreaks of murrain killed 
niunbers of cattle and sheep, swept oft geese and poultry 
and even destroyed the bees. The Black Death was 
therefore preceded and followed by disease in the live- 
stock." 

Sir Albert Howard, visiting Chute in 1942, was so 
impressed with thei superb animals raised by Mr. Sykes, 
on ' poor ' land, fully composted and entirely free from 
artificial manures, that he induced Mr. Sykes to write 
an account of his experiences and deductions. After 
c^^ib^ng how disease was gradually eliminated from 
l^^Cj^^f cattle, pigs and poultry, by subsoiling and the 
I^sf^nt applicaiion of animal dung and urine only, 
M^.^jj^ykes summarises the major lessons his twenty 
nine years experience have taught him. 



These are comprised in the statement that re-fertiliza- 
tion of land is a biolog'ical not a chemical process, from 
which he deduces in accordance with, all his experience, 

(1) _that the well-being of mankind is interdependent 
with that of the animal, the plant, and the living soil ; 

(2) that a fertile soil is one rich in humus; (3) that 
whenever the humus content of the soil is depleted (as 
in the growing of a wheat crop), the humus must be 
replaced with more humus manufactured by the biological 
processes, e.g., vegetable growth (as in grass), and its 
decay, when ploughed, accelerated and activated by the 
micro-organisms of animal dung and urine. 



Mr. Sykes denounces the pressure upon domestic ani- 
mals to produce the excessive quantities of milk or off- 
spring which are the aim fostered if not forced by the 
Ministry of Agriculture. His experience has convinced 
him that stimulation of the soil by chemical agents, and 
of animals by concentrated oil cakes and meals, is the 
cause of the disease of every kind' that is rampant, and 
of the extreme susceptibility of domestic animals to in- 



^^^^i^k 




Deep vs. Shallow Tillage 

Condensed from Market Growers Journal 



C. W. Kelsey 



■HAT I a 



m going to say 



about deep tillage is the 
result of my observation 
of crops grown in ground that has 
been tilled deep, in comparison 
with crops close by in ground pre- 
pared in the conventional man- 
ner with plow, disk and harrow, 
other factors being the same, and 
from reports that I have checked 
■from growers, who practice this 
new kind of deep tillage. These 
observations go back to 1930. 
There are more than 5,000 grow- 
ers in the United States who de- 
pend on this deep tillage. 

I have found deep tillage is 
comparatively new. Ordinary 
plowing varies; four, five, six 
inches deep are practiced. Seven 
inches deep is generally consid- 
ered deep plowing. I do not mean 
to imply that much deeper plow- 
ing is not practiced. What I do 
means is that over seven inches 
deep is exceptional, and that 
most plowing is between four and 
seven inches, or an average of 
five and one-half inches deep. 

The results that I have been 
most interested in are from a 
machine that completely stirs the 
ground in one operation to a 
depth of between six and ten 

Reprinted by permission from the Market 



inches or to the average depth of 
eight inches, an increase of depth 
of two and one-half inches, as 
compared to conventional tillage 
by plow, disk and harrow. This 
additional two and one-half 
inches means more root room, 
better anchorage, more room for 
plant food, more moisture area, 
less opportunity, for hot summer 
suns to withdraw the moisture. 
In other words, there is made 
available almost half again as 
much of these desirable seed bed 
quahties by simply tiUing two 
and one-half inches deeper. I do 
not think shallow tillage has any- 
thing to offer to offset these ad- 
vantages. 

Now, what are the results of 
this deeper tillage.' So far as my 
observations go, they are always 
good. I have never known of ad- 
verse results. However, in this 
new kind of seed bed, many other 
things are accomplished by this 
new kind of soil preparation. All 
the soil is aerated. It is complete- 
ly pulverized. There are no large 
chunks of dirt left, with resultant 
air pockets. Manure and ferti- 
lizer are completely and thor- 
oughly mixed throughout the 
seed bed from top to bottom. No 

Growers Journal, Louisville, Ky., Aug., 1944 



75 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



November 



hard pan is created, as with the 
bottom of a plow to check water 
absorption. Instead the ground 
is put into the best possible con- 
dition to absorb moisture and re- 
tain it without puddling. Valuable 
cover crops are not turned under 
to the bottom of the furrow, 
where part of their vital elements 
are leached off to lower ground, 
never to be recovered. Instead, in 
this new kind of deep seed bed, 
all plant food is evenly distrib- 
uted from top to bottom where it 
is ready and waiting for young, 
hungry, tender roots near the 
top of the bed and just where it 
is wanted as the roots and plant 
grow. 

Results from this kind of deep 
tillage are early yields, healthier 
plants, more abundant and more 
profitable crops, with better re- 
sults in drought than are usual 
from conventional tillage. 

From my 14 years' experience, 
I am convinced this new deep 
type of tillage is going to revolu- 
tionize tillage methods. One skep- 
tic, thought this new deep type 
would destroy the earthworm and 
thus do great harm. Here is the 
answer to that question from Mr. 
Christopher M. Gallup, of the 
Bio-Agronic Associates of North 
Stonington, Connecticut, possibly 
the best authority on earthworms 
in this country. He writes: 

"I have used this new type of 
tillage continuously for the past 
fifteen years. This type of tillage 



may kill an occasional earth- 
worm, but only those too small to 
have established themselves in 
their standard vertical burrows. 
Last Friday we were picking the 
stones from my 1944 garden plot, 
already tilled twice this year. The 
earthworm burrows made after 
the second tillage were close 
enough together to indicate an 
occupancy of around 500,000 per 
acre. I do not now recall having 
seen a single casualty among 
them. 

"During the years that we used 
a mould-board plow, our hoed 
crops almost always suffered for 
lack of moisture. Now our corn 
stands up lush and green while 
that of the neighbors curls in the 
hot sun. I know of no better way 
to hold moisture in the soil than 
by maintaining a dust mulch, 
and I have come to believe that 
a soil so thoroughly aerated, car- 
ries a lot more nitrogen fixing 
bacteria than otherwise. 

"Regarding the fineness of 
tilth, I cannot imagine any me-! 
chanical operation that would 
turn out finer particles than what 
come from an earthworm's giz- 
zard, and their effect on plant 
growth is all to the good. I know 
because I have filled earthen pots 
with worm castings just to find 
out." 

Mr. Gallup, in his experimental 
farm, has been producing most 
unusual yields, far above aver- 
age, and he attributes these re- 



1944 



DEEP VS. SHALLOW TILLAGE 



suits to two things, (1) earth- 
worms, (2) this new kind of deep 
tillage. 

' Summing up, it is my belief 
that deep tillage well done, as 
compared with shallow tillage, 
will pay substantial and worth- 
while dividends on the additional 
cost of preparing this deep seed 



77 

bed over the cost of preparing a 
shallow seed bed. I will even ven- 
ture so far as to say that 12-inch 
deep tillage, in good, properly 
prepared potato ground will pro- 
duce almost twice as much ton- 
nage of potatoes as will a shal- 
low bed only 6 inches deep that 
has a hard plow sole. 



W 



Our ''Chinese" Food 

Condensed from Marketing Activities 



Emmett Snellgrove 



THOUGH U. S. rice produc- 
tion is an insignificant part 
of the world supply, Amer- 
ican rice growers and millers af- 
ter meeting our own wartime 
needs are today shipping rice to 
many distant lands that formerly 
looked to rice-wealthy Burma, 
Thailand, and Indo-China for 
their supplies. Thus, a country 
many of whose people still refer 
to rice as a "Chinese" food is 
now providing nearly half a bil- 
lion pounds of it annually, all 
milled and ready to cook, to feed 
the world's deprived people. 

The United States is of course 
not able to supply all the rice 
needs of these countries, but acts 
merely on a tide-over basis until 
the Burma area can be reopened. 

Reprinted from Marketing Activities, 



Until then — and provided our 
record-breaking supplies last — 
American ships will continue to 
dehver rice to our territories, our 
allies, friendly nations, and lib- 
erated areas. 

As a nation, we Americans are 
not a rice-loving people. For gen- 
erations, we have eaten and used 
industrially only 5 or 6 pounds 
per capita — 800 million pounds a 
year. The rest of our peacetime 
1,400-miUion-pound milled pro- 
duction went and still goes prin- 
cipally to Cuba, Puerto Rico, and 
Hawaii. 

Our present increase in produc- 
tion, some 300 to 400 million 
pounds a year, is going almost 
entirely to areas that never be- 
fore depended upon us for sup- 

Washington, D. C, August, 1944 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



November 



plies. These include the United 
Kingdom, Russia, west Africa, 
and unoccupied France. 

Literally speaking, rice is a 
Chinese food. It is generally be- 
lieved to have been cultivated 
first somewhere in the area ex- 
tending from southern India to 
Cochin-China far back in an- 
tiquity. It appears to have spread 
into China possibly as early as 
3000 B. C, and much later into 
Iran, Arabia, Egypt, and finally 
Europe. 

Many centuries later — about 
1685 — ambitious farmers in 
South Carohna began experi- 
menting with it. They were fol- 
lowed by farmers of North Caro- 
lina and Georgia. Since the Civil 
War, however, rice production 
has centered largely in Louisiana, 
Texas, Arkansas, and CaJifc-nia, 
and these four States, led by 
Louisiana, produce all our com- 
mercial rice. 

Grown largely in the South, 
rice has remained largely a south- 
ern food. Hence, the average per 
capita U. S. use (6 pounds a 
year) does not reflect the heavy 
consumption in the South. On a 
State basis, the per capita con- 
sumption ranges from less than a 
tenth of a pound in New Hamp- 
shire and Vermont to 27 pounds 
in South Carolina and over 40 
pounds in Louisiana. 

Rice is rich In starch and high 
among low-cost energy-supply- 
ing foods. Milled rice (processed 



from rough rice) is completely 
edible and has little moisture and 
a fairly high caloric content. It 
contains calcium, phosphorus, 
and iron, among minerals, and 
thiamine, riboflavin, and niacin. 

A nutritional weakness of rice 
long has been that white (milled) 
rice lost much of its vitamin con- 
tent in the milling process. Re- 
cently, the development of a 
process for preserving a large 
part of the vitamin values has 
received widespread publicity, 
but only a small fraction of the 
country's production is being 
processed by this method at pres- 
ent. Brown rice has a higher 
food value and more flavor than 
white rice because It contains the 
bran and germ portions not found 
in completely milled grain. 

Rice millers In the producing 
areas receive It from the farmer 
In its rough state, then process It 
into the product you find on 
grocery store shelves. 

The harvest season begins In 
the southern belt about August L 
Rough rice reaches the southern 
miller In 162-pound units (the 
California unit is 100 pounds). 
After milling, the 110 pounds or 
so of milled rice that remain are 
divided as follows: Whole rice, 
80 pounds; second head (half- 
grain), 14 pounds; screenings 
(quarter-inch), 12 pounds; and 
brewer's rice (small, finely broken 
pieces), 4 pounds. 

The residue — the difference 






Earthworms, 150,000 to the Acre 

Condensed from Farm Journal and Farmer's Wife 
Williams Haynes 



isHERMEN each season dangle 
millions of earthworms In 
likely waters. No other bait 
enjoys such popularity with an- 
glers. The fish may, or may not, 
hold similar views. 

Christopher Gallup looks at 
the earthworm as bait for bigger 
crops. More earthworms, he con- 
tends, mean higher fertility. 

In evidence he offers a yield of 
196 bushel baskets of ear corn, in 
contrast to the 80 bushels his 
earlier methods produced. His 
swarming earthworms leave more 
than eight tons of their casts per 
acre. (The cast is the deposit 
after the worm digests the vege- 
table and mineral material which 
it eats.) 

Then Gallup points to the 
chemical analysis of these casts. 
Compared with other topsoil, 
they contain five times as much 
nitrogen, seven times as much 
phosphorus, eleven times as much 
potash, three times as much mag- 
nesium. 

How does one persuade the 
earthworms to multiply? Feed 
them, says Gallup; feed them 
trash and organic matter. His 
method is to work everything 
possible into the top six Inches of 



soil, where, in the lower four 
inches, the worms do most of 
their living. 

Gallup's farm lies among stony 
hills of eastern Connecticut. Two 
hundred and seventy years ago 
when King Philip and his Narra- 
gansett braves. In 1675, took to 
the war-path and ravaged that 
corner of Connecticut, a forebear 
of Christopher Gallup already 
had some of the farm cleared. 

Fifteen years ago, determined 
to be successful as a farmer, as 
he had previously been in a Hart- 
ford insurance company, Gallup 
began operating the family's 
ancient homestead. 

He says, "I went Into our little 
fields with a heavy plow hooked 
to a 20 H.P. caterpillar tractor, 
determined to give that old land 
the works. I plowed deep. I put 
on lime and commercial fertilizer. 
I did everything the experts ad- 
vised. I firmly believed with all 
Its stones our New England soil 
was good soil. But the best I 
could get was 80 bushels of corn, 
in spite of a lot of fertilizer and 
hard work." Ultimately, Gallup 
hit on his answer — the spring- 
tooth harrow plus earthworms. 

No one, Gallup says, knows all 

Farmer's Wife, February, 1945, 



19 



20- 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



about earthworms. They eat and 
digest both decaying vegetation 
and soil itself. Their tunnels 
carry air and water into the 
ground. Exactly what happens in 
the gizzards between their suc- 
tion mouths and the fertile casts 
is yet to be found out. 

A scientist's count indicates 
that in Gallup's best fields as 
many as 150,000 worms inhabit 
each acre. A western student be- 
lieves the worm population on an 
acre could be increased to ten 
times that number, enough to 
bring two and a half tons of di- 
gested material to the surface 
each 24 hours. 

Gallup figures that four years 
are needed to build up the worm 
numbers. Harrowing the trash in 
helps in the first year to create 
their food supply. The second 
year the breeding stock begins to 
congregate, the third it multiplies. 
By the fourth the worms are 
heaving up subsoil in quantity. 

"Nowadays," he explains, "we 
get out with the tooth-harrow as 
soon as the frost is out. That is a 
good three weeks earlier than we 
could use a plow, and a couple of 
weeks before the land could be 
worked with a disc harrow. Grass 
and perennial weeds can then be 
killed with surprising ease." 

Gallup's cultivating method is 
to set the teeth of the harrow at 
the most shallow notch, and to 
go over the field several times. 
Then he spreads his manure and 



promptly harrows it in. After 
each spring rain he harrows again, 
both ways, each time lowering 
the teeth one notch. 

Frequently people ask, "What 
about the trash.'' Doesn't it bunch 
up.'"' "And," they add, "aren't 
your fields 'dirty,' and isn't that 
litter an A-1 incubator for pests?" 

Gallup says "No" to both ques- 
tions. He is, in fact, strongly of 
the view that "earthworm tillage" 
keeps down the corn borers. 

Early in the spring before a 
bit of new growth starts, the 
trash — even heavy trash like corn 
stubble — is quite tender after 
having been softened by frost 
and snow. Warm sun and spring 
rains, and the worms, hurry its 
decay. Even at the first harrow- 
ing, Gallup says the trash almost 
never bunches, and by planting 
time it has disappeared. 

When he brings a piece of sod 
into cultivation, Gallup cuts the 
sod with a disc harrow late in 
July, and rakes crossways with 
the spring-tooth. Next he man- 
ures heavily and rakes in lightly 
with the spring-tooth. After five 
cultivations, he sows rye, and is 
ready by spring for his regular 
procedure. 

You notice at once that he cul- , 
tivates both in preparation and in 
regular tillage more often than 
usual. However, the tractor in 
high speed can harrow five or six 
times as fast as plow or cultivator 
can travel. 



1945' 



EARTHWORMS — 150,000 TO THE ACRE 



While the soil is still loose the 
corn is drilled in rows with a 
planter and cultivator with hiller- 
discs that throw a heavy ridge 
over the drilled seed. This, he 
believes, gives extra moisture for 
germination. Four to eight days 
later the cultivator with weeder 
teeth in front breaks down the 
ridge, destroying any young 
weeds. When the corn is a foot 
high the hiller-disc again throws 
back the ridge. Tractor cultiva- 
tion continues until the corn is 
two feet high. 

Gallup does not use hybrid 



seed. This spring he will plant 
selected seed from his 1944 crop, 
which will be detasseled for grow- 
ing seed. He will also plant se- 
lected corn from his 1943 crop for 
the pollen rows in his seed plot. 
He thinks this avoids the disad- 
vantages of inbreeding and gives 
vigor. 

"Part of our increased yields," 
says Gallup, "is due to this kind 
of seed selection. But the method 
of cultivation which brings on 
more earthworms is mainly re- 
sponsible." Maybe he has some- 
thing. 



m 



One-Cow Silo 



An inexpensive silo, for one cow 
or three or four, has been de- 
signed by Roy Hayman, agricul- 
tural engineer with an electric 
company in Oklahoma City. Any- 
one handy with tools can build 
one. It may be just the thing for 
suburban farmers, or for any 
family with a family cow or two. 

It all began when Hayman de- 
cided to build a silo for his one- 
cow "dairy herd." He made a 
box, three feet wide, eight feet 
long and eight feet high, and di- 
vided it into seven vertical com- 
partments, I'xS'xS'. This way he 
can fill into one end of the box 
while feeding out of the other. He 
bought a small second-hand en- 



silage cutter, and rigged it up 
with an electric motor for about 
$50. This he can handle himself. 

Hayman lines the walls with 
ordinary building paper, and has 
had no trouble with spoilage. 
Doors look somewhat like a 
wagon end-gate, and are held in 
place by cleats. 

Hayman is enthusiastic about 
his "siloette" as he calls it. After 
finishing his own, he built a four- 
cow unit for a nearby farmer. 
Total cost of materials for the 
4'xl6'xl2' box was $90. 

A local manufacturing firm is 
figuring now on several designs 
made of metal. 

— Farm Journal 



Blue Lupine Makes Good 

Condensed from Southern Agriculturist 



Some Nineteenth Century Com History 

Condensed from The Fertilizer Eeview 



Harold Severson 



DRIVE through the peanut 
country of the deep South 
in February or March and 
you'll find field after field ablaze 
with the blooms of that remark- 
able new legume called blue lu- 
pine. In less than a decade it has 
soared to almost unbelievable 
heigWs of popularity. It's spread- 
ing a protective carpet of living 
green across thousands of acres of 
ripped-up fields in a three-state 
area. It's reducing erosion, step- 
ping up corn and peanut yields, 
and furnishing green manure by 
the millions of tons. In addition 
it's becoming a lucrative cash 
crop due to its seeding habits. 

No wonder this sensational 
newcomer is spreading like wild- 
fire across Florida, Alabama and 
Georgia! No wonder seed pro- 
duction has rocketed from a two- 
pound packet back in 1935 to 
more than 8/2 million pounds last 
fall! Small wonder indeed that 
vetch and Austrian winter peas 
are being abandoned on many 
farms in favor of this former out- 
cast from Southern experiment 
stations ! 

What is blue lupine? Ten years 
ago, it was an immigrant from 
Europe that had not yet been 

Reprinted by permiss 



able to win a place in the legume '^ 
program of this country. It didn't 
like cold weather, so it failed at 
one experiment station after 
another. The majority of agrono- 
mists dismissed it from their 
minds as a complete disappoint- 
ment. 

Not all of them, however. J . U. 
Warner, head of the North Flori- 
da Experiment Station at Quincy, 
received a two - pound supply 
from Roland McKee of the U. S. 
Department of Agriculture and 
proceeded to experiment with this 
lupine. He knew something about 
its history. After all, lupines had 
a long and honorable career ex- 
tending over many generations in 
Germany. It should thrive some- 
where in the South. 

To Warner's delight, blue lu- 
pine foun,d the soil and climatic 
conditions at Quincy entirely to 
its liking. He watched it carefully, 
noting its vigorous early-season 
growth and its production ot , 
heavy yields of seed. Those tw6 
factors alone sold him completely , 
on its possibihties as a cover crop 
for the lower South. After all, he 
reasoned, even though it wer6 , ^ 
damaged by cold weather m Jan- H 
aor vc. u... uary or February, blue lupine : 

I. the Southe.n A.HcuUurlst. .ulv. 1945. Nashville. Te.n. 

22 



The following is from an edi- 
torial in The Southern Planter 
for June, 1945: 

After running around in circles 
for 50 years, following first one 
fad and then another in corn 
growing, the South is coming 
back to the methods of Capt. 
Zachariah Jordan Drake, of Marl- 
boro County, South Carolina, 
who in 1889 produced 255 bush- 
els of shelled corn on an acre of 
land, according to his own ac- 
count. The champion corn grow- 
er in the Middle West last year 
averaged 182 bushels per acre; 
a North Carolina farmer aver- 
aged 107 bushels per acre; the 
National average was 33.2 bush- 
els per acre, and for many states 
far below that. 

Captain Drake, before the days 
of scientific farming, hit upon the 
fundamentals of successful corn 
growing — plenty of organic mat- 
ter and plant food in the soil with 
liberal side-dressings of nitrate 
of soda, cottonseed meal and 
kalnit; a well adapted variety, 
planted "in the furrow"; and the 



plants thinned to "one stalk 
every 5 or 6 inches." He manured 
the acre heavily in February and 
plowed under "500 pounds each 
of manipulated guano, cottonseed 
meal and kainit." He plowed 
deeply, harrowed thoroughly and 
incorporated cottonseed in the 
soil. Some acid phosphate and 
bone meal were used before plant- 
ing. Then, as the rot system be- 
gan to develop, heavy side-dress- 
ings of nitrogenous plant food 
began. 

Strangely enough our experi- 
ment stations this year are urg- 
ing (1) plenty of organic matter 
in the ''^oil, preferably manure, 
(2) a complete fertilizer before 
planting, (3) plenty of plants per 
acre, 6,000 , to 10,000 stalks de- 
pending upo% fertility (16 inches 
apart in 3^-ibot rows would be 
9,350 stalks) a'^d (4) heavy ap- 
plications of quickly available 
nitrogenous fertilizers, when corn 
is knee high — precisely the same 
program followed by Captain 
Drake to set a record in corn 
production 56 years ago. 



Reprinted from The Fertilizer Review, Washington, D. C. 
75 



Orchard and Garden Mulches 

Condensed from The Rural New-Yorker 
Clarence E. Baker 



MULCHING is as old as plant 
life itself. It is being con- 
stantly demonstrated by 
the natural mulch or leaf mold 
that accumulates in all our for- 
ests. It is now a standard cul- 
tural practice for- growing many 
crops, yet there are still many in- 
stances in both fruit and vege- 
table culture where mulching 
could be employed to much 
greater advantage than at pres- 
ent. 

When one thinks of a mulch, 
he probably pictures a strawberry 
patch with evenly spaced rows of 
plants and large, luscious, red 
berries reposing upon a bed of 
straw. One of the functions of 
the straw is to keep the berries 
clean by preventing their contact 
with the soil. It also contributes 
in many other ways to the pro- 
duction of those attractive ber- 
ries. If the ground about the 
plants had not been covered with 
a mulch, it is Hkely that many of 
the plants would have been 
heaved from the ground during 
the Winter by the alternate freez- 
ing and thawing of the soil. If 
the weather becomes unseason- 



ably dry before the berries ma- 
ture, the mulch retards the loss 
of moisture from the soil. It is 
true that strawberries can be 
grown without this mulch of 
straw, but those who have tried 
this method are likely to be the 
first to agree that the results are 
disappointing. ; 

If this straw mulch is so imr 
portant in strawberry culture, 
why is it not of value in growing 
other plants? The answer is that, 
when properly used, mulching is 
just as important in growing 
many crops as it is for straw- 
berries. Commercial apple grow- 
ers in many sections of the coun- 
try recognize the value of mulch- 
ing their trees, and hundreds of 
acres are now grown under var- 
ious types of mulches. To a 
lesser extent, stone fruit trees are 
mulched in commercial orchards. 
Raspberry and blackberry plan- 
tations frequently are mulched 
and very productive patches have 
resulted. Potatoes and tomatoes 
have also been grown to better 
advantage under a straw mulch 
as have various other garden 
vegetables. 



Reprinted from The Rural New-Yorker, New York City 



ORCHARD AND GARDEN MULCHES 



What Is Mulch? 
The term mulch refers to any 
material spread over the surface 
of the soil about growing trees or 
plants to take the place of culti- 
vation. A mulch should be suf- 
ficiently heavy to prevent com- 
pletely the growth of grass or 
weeds. Many different materials 
may be used as mulches. One 
reason that mulching has not 
been used more by commercial 
fruit and vegetable growers is 
that enormous quantities of ma- 
terial are needed to provide and 
properly maintain mulches over 
large acreages. This is not such 
a, serious problem in the home 
orchard, small fruit planting or 
vegetable garden, as sufficient 
material usually can be easily ob- 
tained. When crops are grown 
under irrigation or on deep, loose 
soils into which water penetrates 
readily, and in which tree roots 
grow to depths of six feet or 
more, then mulches are not so im- 
portant. But when trees or other 
deep rooted crops are planted on 
tight clays or shallow soils, mulch 
culture becomes very important. 

Advantages of Mulchlng 
On most types of soils of aver- 
age fertility, mulching has many 
advantages over cultivation, es- 
pecially in the home orchard. Too 
frequently, where tree or bush 
fruits are grown, they are not cul- 
tivated at all, or so infrequently 
that they make a poor response. 



Under such conditions, mulching 
pays big dividends. Devitahzed 
fruit trees, if free from serious in- 
sects and diseases, frequently can 
be brought to a vigorous and pro- 
ductive condition in a very few 
seasons if adequately mulched 
with strawy manure, or with 
straw to which a hberal applica- 
tion of a nitrogen fertilizer has 
been applied. The initial mulch 
should be eight to twelve inches 
thick and should cover the soil 
from one foot from the trunk of 
the tree to a distance about two 
feet beyond the spread of the 
branches. This mulch should be 
replenished each Spring or Fall 
to make up for settling resulting 
from the compacting and decom- 
position of the original mulch. 
The remainder of the area be- 
tween the trees may be left in 
sod. 

Small fruits and the bramble 
kind generally are mulched by 
covering the entire soil area with 
a layer of similar thickness. In 
commercial small fruit plantings, 
every other middle or occasional 
middles are cultivated to reduce 
the fire hazard in dry periods. In 
the case of potatoes, tomatoes 
atid other vegetables, the entire 
soil area usually is mulched after 
the plants are established. 

Once the area is mulched, cul- 
tivation is eliminated and weeds 
are also controlled. Most of us 
are often inclined to let the culti- 
vator rest at the very time we 



78 



THE FARMEES DIGEST 



October 



1945 



ORCHARD AND GARDEN MULCHES 



79 



should be pushing it most vig- 
orously. Mulches never rest, but 
are on the job when most needed. 

Use Fertilizer Also 
Spring is the best time to 
mulch trees and bush fruits. At 
this time of year the ground is 
moist and mulching helps to re- 
tain the favorable condition. 
Vegetable crops, such as pota- 
toes, beans and all root crops, 
should bemulched as soon as the 
plants are "high enough that they 
will not be smothered by the 
material used. Tomatoes can be 
mulched within a few days after 
being transplanted. 

When any mulch such as straw 
or other vegettative material that 
is low in nitrogen is applied, a 
nitrogen fertilizer also should be 
used in liberal amounts. Nitrate 
of s(3da, sulphate of ammonia, 
ammonium nitrate, or a nitrogen 
carrier sold under any of the 
various trade names is satisfac- 
tory. Unless this is done, most 
of the available nitrogen in the 
soil may be utilized by the bac- 
teria that decompose the mulch- 
ing material and a temporary 
nitrogen shortage is hkely to 
result. A nitrogen deficiency 
brought about in this manner 
probably is the greatest cause of 
unfavorable results occasionally 
reported following mulching. If 
manure is used in the mulch, 
there usually is little need for the 
nitrogen fertilizer, as sufficient 



nitrogen is readily available from 
the manure. For this reason, 
strawy manure or a mixture of 
straw and barnyard manure 
makes a very desirable mulch. 
Hardwood sawdust is quite wide- 
ly used as a mulch. Sawdust con- 
tains very little nitrogen, so a 
liberal application of a nitrogen 
fertilizer should accompany its 
use. Equal parts of sawdust and 
barnyard makes an excellent 
mulch, and with this mixture a 
nitrogen fertilizer seldom is nec- 
essary. Sawdust from walnut and 
some coniferous trees are some- 
times harmful, due to possible 
plant absorption of soluble toxic 
materials. It is therefore safer not 
to use such sawdust. 

A nitrogen shortage following 
mulching is temporary. After two 
or three seasons the decaying or- 
ganic matter of the mulch that 
becomes incorporated with the 
soil actually increases the amount 
of nitrogen that is available to 
the mulched trees or plants. After 
the third season, it seldom is nec- 
essary to add a nitrogen fertilizer, 
even when the mulch is replen- 
ished. Mulches function in sev- 
eral ways to bring about condi- 
tions in the soil that are favorable 
for plant growth. They improve 
the moisture relations very ef- 
fectively. Then encourage the 
penetration of rainfall into the 
soil, both by reducing the surface 
run-off and by improving the 
soil structure so that water is ab- 



P: 



sorbed more readily. Condensa- 
tion of moisture from the air has 
been shown to take place beneath 
a mulch, thus increasing the soil 
supply. Evaporation of moisture 
from the surface of the soil dur- 
ing hot, dry periods is effectively 
retarded; and serious moisture 
losses from deep in the soil is also 
prevented. 

The greater resistance of 
mulched soil to drying out dur- 
ing extended hot, dry periods, 
appears to provide a condition 
within the soil that causes plant 
nutrients to remain more contin- 
uously available than in soils sub- 
ject to alternate moist and dry 
conditions. As the mulch decays, 
valuable organic matter and nu- 
trients are added to the soil. 

Kinds of Mulch 
Mulching materials may be 
either organic or inorganic in na- 
ture. The most common organic 
mulches are straw, hay, sawdust, 
marsh grass, meadow grass and 
shredded corn fodder. Various 
other materials such as pea vines 
from canning factories, pressed 
sorghum cane, various native 
weeds and grasses, seaweed, 



shredded waste paper and a host 
of others are locally available in 
certain areas. Leaves do not make 
a good mulch for either straw- 
berries or vegetables, as they 
pack too tightly together when 
wet. If it is desired to make use 
of fallen leaves, they may be 
mixed with straw and used on 
tree or ibush fruits; otherwise, 
their place is in the compost 
pile. 

Many inorganic materials are 
used for more permanent 
mulches, such as cinders, mine- 
slack, shale and glass-wool. While 
these add no nutrient or organic 
matter to the soil, they have 
many of the advantages of or- 
ganic materials, and are not so 
likely to cause shortages of soil 
nitrogen. Their use is limited 
largely to fruit trees and bush 
fruits, and they do not share the 
general popularity of vegetative 
materials. The use of inorganic 
materials, especially slack and 
cinders, on ground that is to be 
occupied for only a short time is 
not recommended, because they 
might be detrimental to any later 
planted crops. 



Organic Matter — Cash for Your Soil Bank 

Condensed from Successful Farming 



H. R. Smalley 

National Fertilizer Association 



IN A broad sense, all plants and 
animals consist very largely 
of organic compounds, being 
made up of carbon, hydrogen, 
oxygen, nitrogen, carbohydrates, 
and proteins — as distinguished 
from inorganic compounds such 
as rocks and chemical salts. 

Because this article will deal 
with the soil, we are, of course, 
not interested in those organic 
materials that are a part of the 
soil or are used in soil improve- 
ment. 

Another term with which you 
are familiar in this connection is 
"humus," which may or may not 
mean the same as the term "or- 
ganic matter." Crop residues, 
such as straw, cornstalks, roots, 
and stubble, are organic matter, 
but not humus. When these ma- 
terials decay in the soil until you 
can no longer identify them, then 
they become humus. Animal ma- 
nures, for example, are largely 
organic matter but not humus, al- 
tho they become humus quickly 
when applied to the land. 

The organic matter in many of 
our soils has gone down as a re- 
sult of cultivating and cropping. 



and if we are to hold yields or 
increase them it will be necessary 
to set up a cropping program that 
will add more organic material 
than we have been adding up to 
this time. 

Originally most of our soils 
contained a good supply of or- 
ganic matter in the surface layer. 
Under forest conditions, where 
there are no deep-rooted grasses, 
the topsoil is usually rather thin 
and because of the high rainfall 
in forest areas the available plant 
food will leach downward. Under 
prairie conditions, however, the 
grass roots penetrates the soil to 
a depth of several feet and, in 
decaying, form a thick layer of 
topsoil. Also, there is usually less 
rainfall in prairie than in forested 
regions, and consequently less 
leaching. In general then, our 
prairie soils are more fertile than 
our forest soils. 

When the forests were cleared 
away and the land plowed and 
cultivated, and when the prairie 
sod was broken up, there was 
rapid loss of organic matter, for 
the more it is exposed to the oxy- 
gen of the air, the more rapidly 



Reprinted by permission from Su 



sful Farming, Des Moines, Iowa, March, 1945 

80 



1945 ORGANIC MATTER— CASH FOR YOUR SOIL BANK 



81 



it decays, just as stirring a fire 
makes it burn faster. 

Organic matter does several 
very useful jobs. Scientists say 
that it gives the soil a good struc- 
ture, which simply means that it 
makes the soil easier to cultivate, 
makes it loose and crumbly so 
water and air can move freely. It 
makes a heavy soil lighter, but it 
also makes a hght, sandy soil ap- 
pear to be heavier. It makes all 
soils absorb water faster, thus 
preventing runoff and erosion, 
and it also increases the capacity 
to hold water. Organic matter it- 
self absorbs and holds water, 
thus increasing the total supply 
of usable soil water. 

Organic matter in the soil feeds 
the bacteria and other soil life 
which are such essential factors 
in fertility. It provides the energy 
necessary for their growth and 
in growing they take up nitrogen, 
phosphorus, potassium, calcium, 
and other plant foods, making 
these elements more available to 
crops, at the same time prevent- 
ing their loss from the soil. 

But perhaps of greatest im- 
portance is the fact that practical- 
ly all of the nitrogen supply in 
the soil is in combination with 
the organic matter, with the ex- 
ception of a relatively small por- 
tion which is present in the form 
of ammonia and nitrates. As or- 
ganic matter decays, nitrogen is 
released and made available to 
crops; and the rate at which the 



nitrogen becomes available de- 
pends upon how the soil is 
handled 

The net result of constant cul- 
tivation without putting back 
enough organic matter and con- 
stant removal of crops without 
putting back enough plant food 
was that much of our cropland 
became poorer and poorer. Even 
our pastures have decHned in fer- 
tility due to removal (in the 
bodies of animals) of nitrogen, 
phosphates, potash, hme, and 
other properties. 

When a soil loses a large part 
of its original supply of organic 
matter and most of its available 
plant food, it becomes a fit sub- 
ject for erosion. Altho Nature 
always tries to hide her naked- 
ness by growing vegetation, even 
weeds cannot make much growth 
on an exhausted soil. 

Some organic matter is added 
to the soil each year in the reg- 
ular course of farm operations 
even by the weeds that grow in 
fields after the crops are harvest- 
ed. Every crop leaves roots in the 
ground and stubble or other 
parts of plants that can be 
plov/ed under. No material of this 
kind should be wasted. 

The total quantity of crop resi- 
dues that can be used in main- 
taining the soil supply of or- 
ganic matter is of course depend- 
ent on the fertility of the soil or 
on the plant food that is used to 
produce the crops on any particu- 



THE FARMEES DIGEST 



October 



lar farm. For example, in a West 
Virginia experiment, crops were 
grown in a general rotation for 
15 years. On the unfertilized 
land, 20 tons of crops were pro- 
duced during the period, com- 
pared with 59 tons produced on 
the fertilized land. At the end of 
the experiment, the unfertilized 
soil contained 21 tons of organic 
matter an acre to plow depth, 
while the fertilized soil contained 
30 tons. 

I have regretted the burning of 
straw and cornstalks and stated 
that such materials should be 
plowed under or worked into the 
soil. However, farmers have 
sometimes obtained poor results 
from this practice as compared 
with results obtained on burned- 
over land. For a long time the 
reason for this was not clear, but 
it is now known that when straw 
or cornstalks or similar material 
decays the bacteria actually use 
soil nitrogen and the crop grow- 
ing on the land is frequently 
starved for nitrogen. One solu- 
tion to the problem is to apply a 
nitrogen fertilizer or a mixed fer- 
tilizer high in nitrogen, broadcast 
before the crop residues are 
plowed under. The nitrogen thus 
added feeds the bacteria and 
hastens decay, and it also sup- 
plies nitrogen for the crop. 

The legumes are much higher 
in nitrogen than straw and corn- 
stalks, and for this reason they 
do not tie up soil nitrogen when 



they are plowed under. And this 
reminds me of a wheat demon- 
stration conducted in Illinois two 
or three years ago which shows 
the combined effect of legumes 
and fertilizer: The unfertilized 
yield was only seven bushels per 
acre, and with commercial fer- 
tilizer alone it was 15 bushels. 
But when a crop of soybeans was 
plowed under and the same fer- 
tilizer applied, the yield rose to 
39 bushels. The soybeans added 
a lot of high-nitrogen organic 
material. 

It scarcely seems necessary to 
emphasize savings and use of 
farm manure. Manure furnishes 
both plant food and organic mat- 
ter. Even so, there is a tremend- 
ous loss thru careless handling of 
manure and in some cases thru 
failure to make use of it at all. I 
shall not dwell on this except to 
add that manure contains about 
twice as much nitrogen and twice 
as much potash as its available 
phosphate content, and for this 
reason it pays well to add super- 
phosphate to it. This may be 
done by adding superphosphate 
to the manure as it is made in 
the stable at the rate of 1 to 1^ 
pounds • per animal (cow, steer, 
or horse) per day, or by scatter- 
ing 50 to 75 pounds of super- 
phosphate on each load of ma- 
nure, or by using superphosphate 
on the cropland to which manure 
is applied. 

I have mentioned the value of 



1945 ORGANIC MATTER— CASH FOR YOUR SOIL BANK 



plowing under legume crops to 
add both organic matter and ni- 
trogen to the soil, and I would 
like to emphasize this point. But 
I would like to say also that 
when these crops are plowed un- 
der they add nitrogen and or- 
ganic matter only in proportion 
to their root and top growth. 
They will neither fix much nitro- 
gen nor add much organic matter 
if they are starved for plant food; 
and when they are cut for hay or 
for seed they add little if any ni- 
trogen but still furnish worth- 
while quantities of organic mat- 
ter. 

I should also say a word about 
the non-legume, green manure, 
and cover crops such as rye, rye 
grass, sorghum, and millet. These 



crops produce large quantities of 
organic matter of low-nitrogen 
content and are useful to many 
growers (especially to truck 
growers and market gardeners), 
many of whom have adopted the 
practice of applying and plowing 
under commercial nitrogen with 
these crops. 

Organic matter can also be 
supplied to the soil by having 
long-rotation pastures, that is, by 
keeping part of the land in good 
pasture for several years, then 
plowing it under for the produc- 
tion of cultivated crops. By fer- 
tilizing pastures, both the top and 
root growth are increased — the 
top growth to be harvested by 
animals, the roots to die and 
decay in the soil. 



H 



Wool-Blind Sheep Don't Pay 



There was a time when range 
sheepmen were so anxious to in- 
crease fleece weight that they 
didn't care where ewes produced 
more wool — even on the face. 

Anyone who still feels this way 
should check research work on 
the U. S. Sheep Experiment Sta- 
tion at DuBois, Idaho. There 
open-faced ewes of the same 
breeding and kept under the same 



conditions, produced about nine 
pounds more lamb per year, and 
just as much wool as "wool-blind" 
ewes. 

The wooI-bHnd sheep are hand- 
icapped on the range, they trail 
the band, take the trampled left- 
over forage, and have trouble 
finding water. Wool bn the face 
apparently doesn't pay. 

— Farm Journal 



More Calves — Fewer Bulls 



Condensed from Successful Farming 



-i- 



A general practice in commer- 
cial beef herds is to run three or 
four bulls per 100 head of cows 
during the breeding season. Since 
the income from such a herd de- 
pends on the number of calves 
available at marketing time, and 
since one of the big items of oper- 
ating expense is the investment in 
bulls — $250 per head and up- 
wards for good ones — any sys- 
tem which will increase produc- 
tion and at the same time cut pro- 
duction costs is worthy of note. 

Bernard Briggs, of Antioch, 
Nebraska, has for several years 
followed the practice of dividing 
his commercial Angus herd into 
breeding units of 40 to 55 head 
and running one bull with the 
herd. Usually operating with four 
such pasture units, he changes 
his four bulls every week. Under 
this system he has practically cut 
his bull investment in half and 
has materially increased his calf 
crop percentage. In 1944 all but 
two of his 220 commercial cows 
were with calf. In other years he 
has had calving percentages of 
101 and 103 percent, due to the 
large numbers of twins born. 

Much the same report — larger 



calf crops from fewer bulls — is 
made by the range Hvestock ex- 
periment station at Miles City, 
Montana. Single bull units result- 
ed in an average of seven more 
calves per 100 cows at a saving 
of an investment of two bulls per 
100 cows. Figuring a better sort 
of range bull worth $250 and 
weaning feeder calves at $40 per 
head, a cattleman would be ahead 
$780 annually on each 100-cow 
unit. 

The Montana range cow breed- 
ing experiment also indicates that 
much of the low calving percent- 
ages oftentimes attributed to 
"hard winters," poor grazing, or 
low fertility is due instead to the 
tendency of bulls and cows to 
congregate in separate groups on 
rough, well-watered ranges. If a 
vigilant rider is available to keep 
the bulls together, the calf crop 
percentage is improved; or, the 
rancher can split his herd into 
smaller units and rotate his bulls. 
While this latter system may call 
for extra fencing, the Montana, 
experimenters point out that con- 
siderable fence can be built with 
part of the $780 per year sav- 
ing.— C. K., 111. 




mr 



84 



SEATTLE 4 • Yakima -Albany • Craigmont • PORTLAND 14 

THE CHAS. H. LILLY CO. 

Research Division, 
Seattle, Washington 

NOTE: Write for NEW AGRICULTURE reprint- 
Scientific Soil Analysis. 



Scientific Soil Analysis 

Checks Your Soil for 
13 Different Elements 

The Chas. H. Lilly Company 
Seattle 4, Washington 






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Scientific Agricultural 

Research 
Is the Farmer's Defense 



against poor quality crops, low in Vitamin 
and Mineral Content, for low food value 
means disease susceptibility and poor 
yield, poor financial returns. 

Our Research Division has developed and 
improved a scientific method of Quantita- 
tive Soil Analysis and Soil Analysis Evalu- 
ation which will help the grower of any 
product, to determine the Quality and 
Quantity of his Crop, before Planting. 

The Elements of Plant life, which we con- 
sider are CALCIUM, PHOSPHATE, 
POTASH, NITROGEN, MAGNESIUM, 
MANGANESE, IODINE, BORON, 
SULFUR, IRON, ZINC, and in some in- 
stances COBALT is also considered. All 
are important in the growth of most 
plants. Thus, the grower may utilize Agri- 
cultural Science, to help him realize a bet- 
ter profit in the days to come, when only 
quality foods, filled as Nature intended, 
and as our National Health requires, with 
all the Minerals and Vitamins of Animal 
or Human Nutrition — will command a 
good price, and ready sale. 

Consult us on any plant, soil, or on any 
Animal Nutrition problem, which may 
arise from poor quality foods. A small fee 
is asked for each analysis and evaluation, 
together with our recommendations. 



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The BtnblBtn of Purity in Seeds 



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Many Uses of the Sunflower 

Well Known to Our Elders 



Considerable interest has cen- 
tered on the sunflower recently, as 
uses that are almost unlimited 
have been found for it. New as this 
utihzation may seem, our forefath- 
ers learned about the sunflower's 
versatility some time ago. The 
following excerpts are from "The 
Cottage Garden Almanac" for the 
year 1866: 

"This plant produces the finest 
honey and wax, large quantities of 
which are exported from Russia 
and Turkey. When the seed is 
crushed as linseed, it will produce 
the finest oils in larger quantities 
in proportion tb any other seed, for 



the table as well as the paintei\ 
particularly in mixing green and 
blue paints. The cake is superior 
to linseed oil for fattening cattle; 
the oil makes the finest soap, very 
softening to the hands and face, 
superior to any other for shaving. 
Sheep, pigs, pigeons, rabbits, poul- 
try of all sorts, etc., will fatten 
rapidly upon it and prefer this seed 
to any other, pheasants in particu- 
lar, causing them to have a much 
more glossy plumage and plumper 
in body. 

"This seed when .shelled makes, 
when ground, the finest flour for 
bread, particularly tea cakes. It 
will grow in any corner that may 
be vacant, and makes all farms 
have a most agreeable garden-like 
appearance. It should be planted 
about six inches apart, and about 
one inch deep, and when about one 
foot high, it should be earthed up; 
it will then require no further at- 
tention. 



1 ,000 - to - 1 Shot 

"Every single seed will produce 
1,000 or more, the main head gen- 
erally produces 800 to 1,000 seeds, 
and there are generally four col- 
laterals, producing fifty or sixty 
seeds each. Another great* advan- 
tage this seed has over any other 
is that when ripe it turns its head 
downward so that no rain can af- 
fect the seed. 

"But it is not the seed only that 
is so valuable, the stalk is most 
so, for by treating it exactly as 
flax is, it will produce a fiber as 
fine as silk, and that in large quan- 
tities. And now that rags have be- 
come so valuable, arising from the 
unprecedented demand for paper, 
the stalk might be useful for that 
purpose. On some grounds, two 
crops may be growing at the same 
time, for when the farmer has 
given his early potatoes their last 
hoeing, he may plant this seed 
twelve inches apart in the ridges. 
Some three or four years ago, one 
or two farmers cleared a respect- 
able amount on their honey from 
sunflower hives only." 

Europeans. Russians especially, 
have long known the value of the 
sunflower. Countless possibilities 
are presenting themselves for util- 
ization of a plant that formerly 
meant to the average gardener, 
"just bird food." Even as bird 
food alone, however, and as a deco- 
ration, it is well worth growing. 
James M. Kane. 



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ROCKET DANGERS— 

About 75,000,000 meteorites rush 
into the earth's atmosphere every day. 
Dr. Joseph Kaplan (University of Cali- 
fornia) holds that they present a dan- 
ger to the astronauts who would voy- 
age to Mars in a rocket ship. Most of 
the meteorites that enter the earth's 
atmosphere are no bigger than peas 
and are burned up by friction. Be- 
cause they have a speed of about 30,000 
miles an hour (occasionally 180,000 
miles), a rocket ship could easily be 
punctured. A big meteorite would de- 
stroy the ship at a single blow. Astro- 
nauts may extract some comfort from 
the thought that the most concentrated 
swarms average about one gram (one- 
thirtieth of an ounce) in twenty cubic 
miles of space. 



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Little Farmers Find Big Profit in Cheese 

Condensed from The Southern Planter 



ABOUT a dozen years ago, at 
the depth of the depres- 
sion, when the bottom 
dropped out of fluid milk prices, 
a little group of dairymen living 
along the Roanoke River and in 
nearby mountain coves a few 
miles out of Blacksburg, Virginia, 
joined hands in a new type of 
dairy venture for the Old Domi- 
nion. These farmers were getting 
only 62 cents a hundred for 4 per 
cent milk in 1932 and 20 cents of 
that went for hauling, leaving 42 
cents a hundred for feeding, milk- 
ing and managing their dairy 
herds. They couldn't make buckle 
and tongue meet. 

They asked for more money 
for their milk and the condensery 
ofl[icials answered, "You'll do us 
a favor if you keep your milk at 
home!" They did. They poured 
it into vats and made American 
cheese. The skeptics said it 
couldn't be done. "You can't af- 
ford to use high-priced market 
milk for cheese-making." But 
nothing succeeds like success. 
They have done it. They are 
turning out 700 pounds of high- 
quality cheese each day from a 
neat little factory nestled in be- 
tween the mountains, are getting 
from $2.80 to $3.15 per hundred 
(or their milk and taking the 
whey back home for hog feed. 



Cream from the whey, separated 
at the factory, nets enough to pay 
for making the cheese. They are 
releasing over $6,000 a month to 
70 of the most prosperous small 
farmers in Virginia. 

We visited this cheese plant re- 
cently, the only one in Virginia, 
and saw with our own eyes what 
plain, dirt farmers can do for 
themselves when they face a "do 
or die" proposition like the dairy 
dilemma that confronted them 
during the dark days of the de- 
pression. Guiding genius of the 
co-operative cheese venture was 
Professor Wm. D. Saunders, 
cheese specialist of V. P. I., whose 
patented process for making a 
rapid ripening American cheese 
from milk with considerable acid 
has enabled these dairymen to 
produce a product of a quality 
unsurpassed and rarely equaled 
anywhere on this continent. They 
built their reputation by produc- 
ing a better cheese; one that con- 
sumers call for In grocery stores 
and are willing, in many cases, to 
pay several cents more per pound 
to get. 

The first cheese was made in a 
discarded vat secured In South- 
side, Virginia, and heated with an 
old worn-out boiler bought "for a 
song" in Grayson County. The 
second - hand equipment was 



I 



Beprinted by permission from The Southern Planter, Nov., 1946, Richmond, Virginia 

66 



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THE FARMERS DIGEST 



February 



housed in a milk shed. The rent 
was $3 per month. The cheese 
company was named Roanoke 
Valley Cheese Cooperative. And 
it is just that — the men who make 
the milk, make the cheese; they 
market it and pocket the money. 
Today the group doesn't owe a 
dime. They own outright an up- 
to-date plant and all equipment, 
valued at nearly ^20,000. They 
started with less than 25 farmers 
and today have over 70 sending 
milk to the modern factory. 

During the war, 70 per cent of 
the cheese went to the Govern- 
ment. The balance went to stores 
in nearby Blacksburg, Christians- 
burg, Radford and Roanoke. 
"But we have shipped cheese all 
over the country," said L.C. Mc- 
Pherson, president of the organi- 
zation and largest milk producer 
in the valley. "Everywhere our 
cheese goes it makes friends. A 
half dozen big cheese concerns 
and milk companies have at- 
tempted to buy us out. We aren't 
for sale, but our cheese is!" 

Mr. McPherson milks around 
20 cows and raises 100 hogs a 
year, using the whey as a major 
feed for the swine. His calves, 
exxept for a few good heifers kept 
for replacements, are sold for veal 
at 200 pounds. And like his neigh- 
bors, he does general grass and 
grain farming. Some dairymen 
keep as few as two cows. The 
bulk of the milk is produced on 
grass— the cheapest milk any 



dairyman can produce. The eve- 
ning milk is held over night, 
mixed with the morning milk and 
all sold together. Some acid does 
not injure the milk for cheese 
making by the Saunders method. 
And this is important in the South 
where farm refrigeration is diffi- 
cult and milk plants regularly re- 
turn sour milk to the farms. 

This cheese development in 
Roanoke Valley is a practical 
demonstration of self-help among 
farmers to solve their own prob- 
lems in their own way, and to the 
everlasting benefit of their com- 
munity and country. It proves 
that the South has in the Saun- 
ders method of making cheese a 
chance to excell over other areas. 
We can produce cheese cheaper, 
turn out a better product that will 
ripen in half the time, and do it 
with grassland farming, the cry- 
ing need of the South's sick soils. 

The Roanoke Valley folks are 
improving their land with live- 
stock. They are liming and ferti- 
lizing their grassland and hay 
fields. Barns and buildings are 
being improved. The people are 
living better. They are eating 
more dairy and meat products 
because they are producing more. 
Cheese is on every farm table. 
And the future is bright, Mr. Mc- 
Pherson points out, "because we 
could sell 10 cheeses for every one 
we can produce. Our cheese has 
been shipped to servicemen all 
over the world." 



WHAT ONE PROMINENT GROWER FOUND 



"The time came when I dedicated practically 
all of my magazine and book writings to the 
support of seed houses, fertilizer firms and the 
makers of motorized equipment. I merely endorsed 
the checks over to them. Motion picture sales 
and royalties went to cover pay rolls. 

After a deal of persistent effort I succeeded 
in building the sort of root, stalk, leaf and bud 
factory 1 had in mind. Not long afterwards, it was 
my good fortune to encounter a scientist who had 
devoted his energies to nutritional studies and who 
presched the doctrine that soil building must be 
made the basis of food building In order to ac- 
complish body building. 

At that time it was the general beUef that all 
soils contained an ample supply of all necessary 
minerals; plants took what they needed and it was 
the function of the human body to appropriate 
therefrom what it required. Only a few did not 
subscribe to that idea. My scientist stated flatly 
that no plant or animal can appropriate any element 
which is not present in the soil upon which it feeds 
—and that went for a cow as well as a cucumber; 
also that most soils are deficient in minerals. He 
said I was working a sick farm and should be ar- 
rested for abusing the poor thing. Out of a sick 
soil could never grow anything but sick vegetables. 
This doesn't sound as startling now as it did 
then, for a lot has since been written on the sub- 
ject and the public has become mineral minded. 
Intrigued by the idea that those substances could 
be grown into vegetables so as to improve their 
food value, I began some tests. I believe I was 
the first dirt farmer to do so. What a swell job it 
would be to grow foods containing the same 
amount of pep as they did when grandma was a 
gal; to fill them so full of iron, calcium, and phos- 
phorus that one helping would cause an anemic 
guest to neigh and kick the table over. 

I became a welfare worker among underpri- 
vileged roots. 



In Florida there is a natural clay rich in 
phosphorus and calcium and also in the "sec- 
ondary" minerals, about which little was then 
known but much was suspected. Furthermore, 
these elements are in colloidal form; that is, the 
particles are so finely divided that root fibers can 
feed upon them. According to my reasoning. If 
this material would do the trick, here was a cheap 
and abundant source of supply; hence the experi- 
ment might prove to be of tremendous practical 
value. 

The stuff was applied to my land in varying 
amounts, and plots where none was put down were 
left as a check. A celery crop was then planted, 
fertilized and cultivated in the usual manner. 
When it was ready to cut samples from each block 
were taken, numbered and sent to the state chemist 
for analysis. Simultaneously, similar samples from 
the three main celery growing sections of the state 
were shipped to him. Other celery samples were 
forwarded to the chemistry department of Columbia 
University. 

While awaiting the verdict, we made some dis- 
coveries of our own. Celery grown on the mineral- 
ized fields looked better tasted better and kept 
better than that from the untreated land. It 
held up better, with or without refrigeration, and 
remained edible long after that grown on the check 
plots decayed. 

When the report of our celery analysis was 
finished, it revealed something truly amazing. More 
than two hundred and fifty separate chemical deter- 
minations had been made and they showed that 
wherever the minerals had been used on the land 
they reappeared in the laboratory. Furthermore, 
the amount was at least twice that carried by plants 
grown on the check plots or elsewhere in the state 
In the short space of one season, a single applica- 
tion of colloidal minerals had more than doubled 
the supply not only of iron, calcium and phos- 
phorus but also of rare secondary elements. 

StiU greatly intrigued by the effect of soil 
correction upon plant, animal and human nutri- 
tion, I wrote a Cosmopolitan article about It It 
aroused wide editorial comment, and there came 
a deluge of letters and requests to reprint. I lost 
count of the number of letters when the total 
topped ten thousand." 



Use Soil COLLOIDAL MINERALS as one 
of the important practices in a sound system 
of soil improvement — not to take the place of 
fertilizer, crop rotation and legumes, but as a 
means of further improving the soil and sup- 
plying additional plant food to meet crop 
needs and soil deficiencies. 

The degree of fineness of the material 
gives it added value. Each granule consists 
of thousands of fine, colloidal particles which 
break up immediately upon coming in con- 
tact with soil moisture and at once become a 
beneficial part of the soil. 

Soil COLLOIDAL MINERALS may be 
broadcast before planting; may be applied at 
the time of planting, in the row with the 
fertilizer or used as a top dressing. Where- 
ver convenient it should be worked into the 
soil hghtly as far in advance of planting as 
possible. 



How to Use 

SoiB CoHoidal [ViiiieraSs 

The practice as to the amount of fertilizer 
used per acre varies in different sections of 
the country and with different crops; so, it 
is not entirely practical to lay down exact 
amounts to be used; therefore, we leave the 
quantity required to the judgment of the 
user or to local, established practice. 



Vegetable Gardens. Apply at rate of 100 
lbs. to 1,000 square feet after the ground has 
been ploughed or spaded. Evenly broadcast 
and thoroughly mix with the first two or 
three inches of top soil. As soon as plants 
are well started make further applications 
by dusting the plants, raking in what does 
not adhere to the foliage. Our product will 
not burn the foliage or roots. 

A half-acre garden, if properly cared for, 
will supply vegetables having a market value 
of at least $100.00 to $150.00, sufficient for a 
family of five or six. The main arguments 
in favor of a good garden, however, are that 
the vegetables are available when needed, 
are fresh, and have high quality and flavor. 
These characteristics are not present in the 
same degree in vegetables bought on the 
markets, especially those shipped long dis- 
tances or kept in storage and subjected to 
handling and exposure. Recent discoveries 
as to the mineral and vitamin content of 
fresh vegetables, especially the leafy kinds, 
emphasize the value of a garden in safe- 
guarding the family's health. 

Flower Gardens. Apply liberally around 
plants and carefully mix with first inch of 
top soil. 

Lawns: On established lawns, apply at 
rate of 100 lbs. to 1,000 square feet, evenly 
broadcast. Water thoroughly. 

-■ On New Lawns — prepare soil thoroughly 
and apply 100 lbs. to 1,000 square feet, raking 
in to first inch of top soil. 



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Soil Fertility and Farm Security 

Wm, A. Albrecht 

Department of Soils, College of Agriculture, University of Missoui 



SECURITY in the business of 
farming depends more on its 
agronomic than on its eco- 
nomic phases. But one must, how- 
ever, give careful study to the 
economic phases in order to real- 
ize the truth of this statement. 
These are facts coming from the 
analysis by]. O. Martin of some 
500 farm records of the borrowers 
of the Missouri Farm Security 
Administration in the southwest 



soil and its products in the form 
of human food. They are not 
growing grain to be sold. Nor are 
they making products that must 
be extensively processed before 
they can feed people. They are 
using cows to process grass right 
out of the rougher topography 
into a most valuable and most 
complete human food as the 
result. 

These people are in a position 



part of Missouri, as he presented to carry out all the phases of the 
them to the Chamber of Com- production, namely (a) grow the 



merce at Springfield, Missouri. 
The economics point out that the 
soil — the crop-producing power — 
is the means by which new wealth 
is created and is the force that 
determines how secure the farmer 
and his family are on the land. 

The farming area under study 
by Mr. Martin is given over ex- 
tensively to the production of 
dairy products. It is in the milk- 
shed of Springfield, Missouri, 
which is a center where a large 
amount of dairy products are 
concentrated. It is significant to 
note that these people are selling 
their farm output in the form of 
human food, and a most valuable 
food at that. The farmers are op- 
erating already under one of the 
closest connections between the 



grass, (b) multiply the cows, and 
(c) produce the milk. How effec- 
tively they do this is the question 
that deserves consideration. Their 
efficiencies are demonstrated by 
the different groups as shown by 
their farm incomes and the distri- 
bution of the money in terms of 
expenses. The efficiencies, more 
particularly the degrees of success 
with which these borrowers are 
paying off their loans is roughly 
related, according to Mr. Martin, 
to the extent to which they help 
their soils to grow feed and there- 
by reduce the expenditures for] 
purchased feeds. More than 200 
records in the lowest income 
group show an average gross 
earning per farm of approxi- 



1«46 

■were 33 per cent of this total, care- 
fully distributed farm expendi- 
ture. Only the small sum of 4 
per cent of the farm expenditures 
went to buy limestone, fertilizers 
and seed as helps to their soils by 
which the yield of feed as tonnage 
per acre, as quality in milk pro- 
ducdon, and as size of calf crops 
could be improved. The econom- 
ics of buying and delivering feed, 
out-weighed the agronomics of 
growing it right on the farm 
where the cows themselves could 
carry out the feed-hauling opera- 
tion. The economics of buying 
feed occupied the scene so promi- 
nently that it disturbed the busi- 
ness unfavorably when, on the 
other hand, the agronomics as 
better production might have 
given security. 

A similar number of farms had 
incomes in a higher bracket aver- 
aging $3,000 each. The better suc- 
cess of these in paying off their 
loans more regularly, said Mr. 
Martin, goes back to the fact that 
they needed to purchase feed to 
the extent of only 24 per cent of 
their farm income. This reduction 
in relative outlay for feed was 
brought about by an expenditure 
for limestone, fertilizers and seed 
to the extent of 6 instead of 4 per 
cent of the farm expense. For an 
investment of an amount equiva- 
lent to the prevailing rate of in- 
terest on their income and ex- 
pense figure they were making a 



mately $1,700. Their feed co$« 

Reprinted by permission from Kansas Farmer, Topeka, Kansas, Nov. 3, 1945 'CiJ 

40 



success of their venture in bor- 
rowing money from the Farm Se- 
curity Administration to run the 
farm. By spending but 2 per cent 
more of their income than was 
spent by the group with the lower 
income of $1,700, they were re- 
ducing their feed costs by 9 per 
cent. 

For the group with the highest 
incomes, reaching a figure more 
than double that of the second 
group, the feed expenses were ap- 
proximately 18 per cent of the 
total annual farm operations 
costs. These folks were using 8 
per cent of their expenses as a 
means of purchasing soil fertihty, 
which served to grow the feeds on 
the farm. Here the agronomics of 
high order reduced the economics 
of feed purchases to put this 
phase of the farm business, too, 
in a very favorable position. 

It is significant to notice that 
the highest total incomes were 
connected with the highest rela- 
rive expenditures for the agrono- 
mic phase, namely, for the pro- 
duction of the better crops 
through the use of more soil fer- 
tility as a means of getting sun- 
shine, air, and water to run the 
great chemical industry out-of- 
doors that we call "farming" in 
the true sense. Here there was 
real farming with its consequent 
production of foods and the pro- 
vision of security for the family. 
The lowest total income resulted I 



THE FARMERS DIGEST 



Januaxy 



SOIL FERTILITY AND FARM SECURITY 



where the expenditure was rela- food produces $3 worth of feed) 

tively the lowest in support of the By having produced this addi 

soil through added fertility. Here tional^ feed, 55204 of mcome is re 
there was not enough help to the 



soil that must be the basis of 
production of feeds and of foods. 
When these figures are handled 
in their absolute values, rather 
than in percentages, they reflect 



leased from feed purchases to 
other use. The first ^68 would be 
used to buy the plant food for the 
next crop to keep the economic- 
agronomic cycle in balance and 
$136 could be used for those ex- 



the fact much better, namely, that penses that improve standards of 
good living on the farm comes living. Thus the standard of living 
mainly by good soil — and by one 
being good to it. The part of the 
income to be spent on the living 
proper of the family tells a sig- 
nificant story. Those families with 
a mean gross income of $1,700 
per year. had only $459 or ap- 
proximately $100 per person to 
use for all phases of family living 
— food, clothes, education, recrea- 
tion, medical care, etc. This 
amount does not support the 
standard of living thought of in 
connection with the "American 
way of life." 

By increasing those expenses 
which produce feed from 4% of 
the gross incomes to 8%, as in the 
case of the most successful group, 
and assuming the level of produc- 
tion would remain constant we 
would expect to see the following 
changes in the operation. Eco- 
nomically the expenses for pro- 
ducing feed would be increased 
by $68. Agronomically the supply 
of feed would be increased in the 
amount of $204 (following the 
safe rule that $1 spent for plant 



can go up 30 per cent as regis- 
tered by a shift of only 4 per cent 
in the economics of farming, but 
it is brought on by a shift in the 
agronomics of this business. The 
economics register what the 
agronomics bring about. 

Surely this is evidence enough 
by which we can understand why 
the living standard can't go up 
on the farm unless the agronomic 
powers of the farm, namely, its 
soil fertility and its producing 
power, are high. 

Security of investments in land 
demands good, or fertile soil. The 
earning power depends on how 
well that soil can continue to pro- 
duce. The soil can't hold on for- 
ever without having some fertility 
turned back to it. 

That fertility going back regu- 
larly must become a part of the 
economics of farming in support 
of the agronomics of it. Cost of 
production must consider the cost 
of the restored raw materials, 
namely, the limestone and other^ 
fertilizers that must go back to 



keep that land productive. Farm- 
ing will be secure only when that 
soil and its assembly lines deliver- 
ing fertility are maintained at 

jhigh delivery levels. We can't be 
secure in buying feed, or in mov- 
ing the fertility as feed from some 

1 other form. We can't get security 
by robbing Peter to pay Paul. 



The study of Mr. Martin is tell- 
ing us that security in farming is 
based on agronomics more than 
on economics. The soil is the basic 
support of the farm. Our farm se- 
surity rests in its fertility and how 
wisely we manage and maintain 
it. 



m 
Broiler Qualities 

Condensed from Everybodys Poultry Magazine 
John H. Vondell 



Now that broiler raising is a 
big industry — here to stay 
— growers will find that 
the breeds, strains, and crosses 
likely to be most profitable will 
have these qualities: 

Rapid growth — a 3 -pound av- 
erage, or better, at 12 weeks. 

Fast feather growth — complete 
at 8 weeks of age. 

Feed economy — a pound of 
growth for about 3^ pounds of 
feed. 

Dressed grade — a high percent- 
age that will grade out "A." 

Uniformity — no runts, but even- 
ness in size. 

Comb height — fairly rapid 
growth. 



Good pigment — bright yellow 
skin and shanks. 

At Massachusetts State College 
four different strains ate 13.39 to 
13.76 pounds of feed per bird 
during 13 weeks. One strain, 
however, produced a pound of 
growth on 3.53 pounds of feed, 
while another required 4.01 
pounds of feed per pound of 
meat. This difference affects 
profits. 

Some strains already combine 
high egg production with these 
broiler qualities. In other in- 
stances, careful crossing of egg- 
bred lines with special quality 
broiler stock may be desirable. 



'^'•l^^^ 



l^eprinted by permission from Everybodys Poultry Magazine, Hanover, Pa., Nov., 1946 



Responsibilities of Co-operatives 

Condensed from California Cultivator 



G. F. Henning 

Ohio Experiment Station 



CO-OPERATIVES havc real re- 
sponsibilities if they are to 
fulfill their real opportuni- 
ties. Their records should be open 
to the members and patrons. 
They should be more than just 
business corporations, almost 
those of a quasi-public nature. 
Some may disagree with this 
point of view but, unless co-op- 
eratives do this and rise to their 
responsibilities, they are little 
different from business corpora- 
tions. If farmers want business 



principles found in this study are 
set forth in this article. 

Membership should be open to 
all agricultural producers.— When 
a member becomes inactive, his 
interest or equity in the co-opera- 
tive should be returned to him at 
a time convenient to the co-op- 
erative. Recent research studies 
in Ohio have shown that farmers 
want co-operatives to make it 
easy for an eligible non-member 
to become a member. Too many 
co-operatives put all the respon- 



corporations then they should so sibility on the non-member, with 
organize and be treated as such, the result that there is a large 



It is one thing to be a co-opera- 
tive and it is quite another to be 
a farmer-controlled and farmer- 
owned business corporation. 
Farmers and co-operative mem- 
bers must reahze and know this 
distinction. Co-operatives have 
granted to them certain privi- 
leges, but that also means they 
have definite responsibilities, bus- 
iness as well as moral. 

A recent study made by the 
Ohio agricultural experiment sta- 
tion of farm co-operatives in five 
Ohio counties examined the basic 
principles under which they are 
operating. Some of the important 

Reprinted by perm; 



volume of non-member business. 
This is an unhealthy situation. 

Voting should be democratic. — 
It has long been the standard 
rule that each member should 
have only one vote. A freer use 
of the ballot is essential, since too 
many co-operatives now vote by 
acclamation. All important ques- 
tions that are voted on by the 
membership or by delegates, 
should be decided by ballot. Es- 
pecially is this true in the selec- 
tion of directors. Unless ballots 
are used, individual members 
often fail to vote as they think 
best because they do not want 

from the California Cultivator, Los Angeles, Cal. 
44 



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THE MISREPRESENTATIVE PRESS 

Bernard De Voto, who contributes "The Easy Chair" 
department to Harpe/s, is always an able advocate. In 
Harper's for May he adds the strength of his probing 
mind to the "Front against Disaster." Manas for last 
Dec. 15 referred to the Time (Nov. 8) review of recent 
books by William Vogt and Fairfield Osborn — both deal- 
ing with soil depletion and impending world famine — 
as "distorting and minimizing." Mr. De Voto discusses 
the Time review point by point, proving it to be "a 
stultifyingly ignorant story based on research so super- 
ficial and incomplete that it falsified the facts." 

Both Vogt and Osborn maintain that the modem 
world is hastening toward a crisis in food supply — along 
the lines indicated in this week's Frontiers, in which Vogt 
is quoted. The Time article, entitled, "Eat Hearty," ridi- 
culed Vogt's claims and implied that real scientists see 
no danger of a world food shortage. Mr. De Voto set 
himself the task of finding out who these "real" scien- 
tists are, who are in such disagreement with Vogt and 
Osborn, and then printed his interesting discoveries in 
"The Easy Chair." Apparently, he drew extensively on 
work done on the same problem at Dartmouth: 

When the Great Issues course at Dartmouth College set 
up "Eat Hearty" as an exhibit of slanted journalism, it 
needed ten pressboard panels twenty-eight inches high and 
eleven inches wide merely to list errors, distortions, and 
misrepresentations. 

Time, which makes a great show of printing criticisms 
from readers, did not publish a letter objecting to "Eat 
Hearty" from the president of the National Association 
of Soil Conservation Districts, who said that the review 
was "one of the most confused and misleading articles 
I have ever read." Dr. Hugh Bennett, Chief of the U.S. 
Soil Conservation Service, regarded by many as the 
world's greatest living authority on soils, also dissented 
from Time's conclusions. 

Time, of course, is not alone in the practice of biased 
journalism. Harper's for April contains an equally 
valuable piece by Milton Mayer on "How to Read the 
Chicago Tribune," and in May, along with Mr. De Voto 
on Time, presents Fred M. Hochinger's account of the 
bad reporting which has come to American newspapers 
from occupied Germany. 

These Harper's features should be carefully read. 
They add weight to our theory that it is quite possible 
to get along without the daily newspapers, and some of 
the weekly ones, too. 



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C^IT'^'^--^ 







ilasgacfjusetts Jlorticultural ^ocietp 

J HORTICULTURAL HALL, 300 MASSACHUSETTS AA'ENUE 

Boston, 7l/^ij.,...Apr-il....l.6., 19-43.. 




Dear Mr. G»regg: ' 

The n^-rae of the New York concern dealing in 
Jerusalem a;rtlchokes is, A. A. deBole, 120 Sulli 
Street, New Y^rk City. You may obtain recioes a 
well as artichokes from this sou 





PLANTS WITHOUT SOIL 
ARE GROWN IN TESTS 

RIVERSIDE, CaXf-/ Whatever 
'the opinions of organic gardeners! 
and angle worm fanciers, plants l 
land even good-sized trees will; 
igrow in water cultures and pro- 1 
duce high-quality fruit, scientists' 
at the University of California 
Citrus Experiment Station at Riv-I 
erside have established. ' 

Organic matter has great value 
in preserving soil structure, in 
preventing leaching losses of soil! 
nutrients, and in providing somej 
insurance against nutritional de-| 
jficiency in the soil. Dr. H. D. Chap-1 
'man, chairman of the division of 
soils and plant nutrition and acting 
station director, said. 
I Organic matter, he emphasized, 
lis not indispensable. 
j "From our experience in water i 
and sand cultures," he said, "wej 
know that most green plants canj 
be grown in a medium devoid ofj 
organic matter. 

"For example, we have 14-year-: 
old orange trees which have been; 

•[growing continuously in water 
; cultures during their entire life. 

.| "These trees continue to pro7 
I duce good crops of fruit, are greeii 

. I and healthy, and the quality of the 

'I orange produced, as far as can be 

* I measured, is as good as the qual- 
■ ity of oranges grown in soils." 

Because plants are constantly 
extracting nutrients from the soil, 
the scientist explained, restoring 

* organic matter to the soil does 
'replace to some extent the nutri- 
ents taken away. 

'I "This can also be accomplished 
. I with commercial fertilizers," Dr. 

I Chapman added, "and in general, 
'j despite the unproved and un- 

' founded claims of some that com- 
^ mercial fertilizers are ruining our 
I soils, it will be increasingly neces- 
)'sary in the years ahead to rely on 
.commercial fertilizers and lime as 

soil restorers." 



PLANT GllOWTH— ///b / 

Plants grow by leaps and bounds 
which are determin^ by periods of 
light and dark, the Uhited States De- 
partment of Agriculture reports. Ligfit 
periods during the dayti^pe make a 
difference. Dr. Byron T. Shaw of the 
department's research administration 
told the Illuminating Engineering So- 
ciety in Washington, but continuity of 
the dark period appears to be the con- 
trolling factor in plant growth. For 
instance, he said, as little as 25 foot- 
candles of light for one or two minutes 
in the middle of the night is enough 
to stop flowering and seed production 
of soybeans. As little as two one- 
hundredths of a foot-candle of light 
during the dark period will prevent 
many plants from flowering. Photo- 
periodism is directed by a key plant 
pigment, recent research indicates. The 
pigment is blue, perhaps related to the 
pigments of bile. Apparently it acts 
as a catalyst to set in motion another 
substance, still to be identified, that 
stimulates flowering and other phases 
of plant development. Already, control 
of the length of the day and the night 
is put to use in special cases. Chrysan- 
themums are made to bloom on time 
for big football games and not before, 
for instance. Artificial light adjusts 
the daylight and a light-proof canopy 
adjusts the darkness. R. K. P. 



DESTROY 

s. GOPHERS & MOLES 




THE EASY WAY 



Novel, effective RODENT ROCKETS strike 
like a match and blitz out whole families of 
gophers, moles, rats, field mice, ants, ground 
squirrels, etc., at one "shot." Safe, sure, aids 
to hunters in "un-treeing" holed-up wood- 
chucks, raccoons, etc. 6 for $ 1 .25, 1 2 for $2.00 
Send Cash, Check or Money Order. 

Color-illustrated catalog of finest Flower Seeds, Bulbs 
and Plants, mailed on receipt of 35^, with coupon 
worth 50^ on first purchase order. 

BURNETT BROS., INC. Est. 1905 

Dept. 24 BArclay 7-6138 

92 Chambers St., N«w York 7, N. Y. 



GARDEN EXCHANGE MAGAZl 



WE RECEIVED 



THIS MONTH 
IN THE GAMDEN 



Tlic lli:i!ll \l.l'> I' 



I 400 pag-es, 300 iUustra- 
(1 pictures. Tells how to 
plants and gives many 
b formulas and recipes. 



42, St, Louis 



valuable sec 

Available from S. Jenkin 

3, Missouri— and it' 



• • • 

Wo liMi'c a caril here from Jos. Lininbort, 

268 N. 6th St., Newark 7, N, ,T, offering $$$ 
for Peruvian Ming- Tree Moss in clusters, 
also all kinds of twisted knarled branches 
10 to IS inches long. These could be man- 
zanita, sage or any type branches. 

• • • 

"The (lalilia is still a man's flower, but how 

the ladies can arrange them." — noted in the 
catalog of Cottage Grove Dahlia Gardens, R. 
3, Box 225, Port Orchard, "Wash. Everyone 
should have a copy of DESIRABLE DAH- 
LIAS. Drop a card to Mr. Hulin at the add- 



for 



We ha 



MARY DUNCOMI 
le month of April 
lonth. There are 

to be done, eac 
he other. Then tl 

hotbeds I 



In the 

seeds of vegetables or ii->, . 
by mid-April at least the Ir 
to be protected on unexpect 
They must be watered 6aU\ 
with a constant look-out ' 
By the last of the month 

inated, 



nf adr 



by 



ing fresh 

levating the frame 
is a real thrill to 
eak through the sc 



Thi 



last month e 

ing seasons for cold frames and ho'tbe 

Be guided by experienced gardeneis in v, 



to plant the 



southwest Mini 



ike 



well 



The 



sh. 



r The Billy Hepler Seed Co of Durham, N. H 
is operated by a boy that is really up and 
coming. The 1949 catalog just received from 
"America's Youngest Seed Grower" com- 
pared with one of 1947 indicates that both 
Billy and his catalog are growing. His cata- 
log is free and you'll be interested in the 
new Merrimack Sweetheart watermelon — a 
Billy Hepler Seed Co. introduction. 



"The tempo of our lives is too swift. Slow 
up and enjoy beauty." Noted on page 5 of 
CORSAGES FOR MILADY, by Glad Reusch. 
Here is a fine little book on the subject 
mentioned, and it's only 75^. Address the au- 
thor, Glad Reusch, 1005 Riverside Ave., .lack- 
sonville, Florida. 



\ 



pos 



distance a\ 

ate enough to be near ime IT^n.illy' direc- 
tions for planting come with the purcliase. 
but you may be exchanging with a neighbor 
or maybe ju.st doing a little transplanting 
on your own grounds. Unless you are not 
adjustable to heart break over failures, it is 
best to stick to those plants which have al- 
ready proved their worth in vour own sec- 
tion. We have learned this lesson well and 
only plant those which care for them- 



selves 



the 



inter 



^ TTsuallj- Ave think of OrKanic Gar< 

connected with edibles. The Krubsacks, op- 
erators of Pine Shadows Gardens, Peshti- 
go. Wis., grow their bulbs organically with 
what is becoming the famous "21 System." 
Any organic gardener as well as those in- 
terested in learning NATURE'S WAY will 
be interested in this "21 Element" story. It's 
on the back of the Krubsack's free and 
friendly catalog. Tell 'em the GEM "did it." 



GOOD NEIGHBOM 

Geo. O. Lea, .580 Dundas Street, Gait, On- 
tario, Canada, offers to supply anyone inter- 
ested, with information about Canada and 
particularly Ontario. George can give you 
information on the best Fishing, Hunting 
and Summer resorts, where you may spend 
a summer vacation with the least wear nn 
your pocketbook. 

(We wish to stress that Mr. I^es 
the travel bureau business and r 
gesture merely as a good neighb 
a movie projectionist with a garden hobby 
even as you and I — Editor). 



\ 



extremes of heat, cold and moisture For- 
tunately we do have many such shrubs, and 
as we expect them to do service for many a 
year, we plant with care in a goodsiied 
hole, spreading the roots around carefully 
and watering both at the time of setting 
out and whenever needful the first summer 
Lilacs do well everywhere, it seems. There 
are so many varieties to choose from, why 
not get several? The old-fashioned laven- 
der, the dark puiple. the lacy Persians, 
both white and lavender, all have a beloved 
place in our garden. We like the flowering 
apple and the plum too. and no garden is 
complete without the Snowballs and the fla- 
grant Mock Oranges. The flowering Almond 



luch 



,'ed a 
ago when it first found a place in our garden 
Although there are many roses to chose 
from, it is a wise idea to have the old stand- 
by Rugosa roses as a backbone of the rose 
bed. We of the northern tier of states may 
often, with a great deal of care, succeed in 
flowering and keeping over some of the rarer 
sorts, but a rose is a rose, and for real 
dependence get some of the sure fire varie- 
ties. What is a prettier sight than the 
Harrison Yellow, a veritable mound of sun- 
shine? But do not plant Peonies in Spring 



■;pect 



late 



accepted planting 

A new strawberry bed should be started 
now, and given extra care all during the 
growing months. Plant each plant at least 
three feet apart and keep the patch weeded 



itlj 





April is a very good 




and transplant perennia 


not in 


ning out or perhaps w 


5S this 


different location. Be 


He is 


this, not to disturb thos. 



mth 



clean out 
lich need thin- 
do better in a 
jl when doing 
its which come 



4^ per word Classified 



Display — $2.00 per inch. 



GARDEN EXCHANGE MAGAZI 



THE NEW FLOWEM CLUB 

CAR!^ ST. REn, Secretary 
loCO W. 23rd St.. Lo.s Angele.s 7. Calif. 



wusp garcleiK 
e can still g< 

vhUe the ga 



> hnx'c i>n hand soni 
rev seed that we wish 
scribers of this mag-azi 
hand pollenized for spe 



be .sent free 



to tell you about the minia- 

,.se that can be grown from 

>s in 60 to 90 days. T have had 

:{(i davs from seed, but this 



THE GARDEN EXCHANGE 
CLUB 

THIS POPULAR EXCHANGE MEDIUM 
FOR GARDENERS IS NOW MANAGED AND 
CONDUCTED r.Y MRS. JAMES E. "WINFIELD, 
ROUTE 1, PAINTED POST, 1VE^V YORK. 

Mrs. Winfleld receives all seeds that mem- 
bers have as surplus and are willing to con- 
tribute. These seeds are packeted and dis- 
tributed e<iually among- members — in season, 
and according to the wants of each individual 
member. Wants are carefully considered. 
Dues are $2.50 PER YEAR— which includes 
GARDEN EXCHANGE MAGAZINE subscrip- 
tion. (Canada and Foreign $3.00.) 

Many benefits are g-iven members of the 
G.E.C. The main benefit is of course the seeds 
you receive. If purchased separately, these 
seeds would cost you much more than $2.00 
alone! 

JOIN NOW — For the most interesting- gar- 
den game you have ever played! All seed 
contributions s'hould be made direct to I»Irs. 
James AVinlielil, Route 1, Pnlnte<l Post. N. Y. 

Dues may be sent either to Mrs. Winfleld— or 
the Garden Exchange Magazine. Don't miss 
this! You will not regret becoming: a member 
of the Garden Exchang-e Club. 



C( 


iver'ed with hu 


Lvdreds of 


miniatu 


re roses, 


w 


;hich will produ 


ce seed f 


or you. 






This lovplv lift 


le darling- is fine 


as a pot 




ant and being 


perfectly 


hardy. 




fil 


le edging- plan 










The seed has m 


ostly beer 


1 grown i 


n Europe 






the late 


war has become 






. last pric 


e quotati 








$80 per 


pound, but I have 




small surplus 


of my 0' 


ivn seed 




Sf 


,nd it along with the fre 


e seed a: 


3 long- as 


it 


lasts if you as 


k for it. 










- to tell : 




to use a 


hypodermic needl( 


i on your 




1,00 "hli.o 



mutation. 

Watch for these articles in future issues 
of our Magazine and tell your flower loving 
friends about them. And write me person- 
allv if 1 can help you with your problems. 
I always answer when you send along a 
self-addressed and stamped envelope. 



DID YOU KNOW? 

EY MARY PISKAC 



Did you know t 

gai'iie •^tiibs m~"Ea 



liai-Jt-KMLJia 



our gardei5l AhaIIHiil.iiI0j.es 



^11 lea ve Attif never 

That mice, squirrels, crows, etc., will -not 
get your melon or cucumber seeds if you 
dip the seed in kerosene (coal oil) before 
planting? 

The best remedy for cucumber beetles on 
cucumber, sqash, melons, etc., is to smear 
some fine tar on a corn cob and place the 
cob in a hill between the young plants. Add 
more tar to tlie cob at intervals of 8-10 days. 
The odor will keep the pests away. 



A. A. Longmire of Carpenteria, Calif., has 
one of the largest variety collections of Calla 
Lilies. 



A QUIZ FOK GAMDENEMS 

PREFIXES AND SUFFIXES 

By ELIZABETH A. KILBOURNE 

What does each of the following suffixes, or 
prefixes mean? 

1. Acerifolius, ficiloliiLS 

2. BalsomiferuiS, bulbifei-us 

3. Densinorus, viridiflorus 

4. Dolabriforinis, varilormls 

5. Xanthooiintlms, xanthocarpiis 

(). Unicolor, ti-icolor 

7. Tetragonus, tctrandrus 

8. Rubrifolius, rubroneyvis 

9. Streptopliyllus, platypliyllus 

10. L.a.viflorus, laxifolius 

ANSWERS: 1, leaved; 2, bearing; 3, flowered: 
4, shaped; 5, yellow; C, colored; 7, four; 8, red; 
9, leaved; 10, loose. 



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